Why We’re Here

Back in 2019 a group of rag-tag volunteer activists got sued by the City of Fullerton for downloading files that were put on the open internet by way of a City controlled and public facing Dropbox account.

It is and was the legal duty of those in City Hall, and especially the City Attorney, to make sure that legally confidential files remain confidential and when these parties were found to have failed in their duties, by the journalists in question, the City took action.

The way the City took action was to sue the journalists in violation of clear cut First Amendment rights. The City, arrogantly, argued that it was the duty of the public to know what files were and were not public and to place the blame on the public for this colossal screwup on the part of City paid staff and Attorneys.

To it’s credit the City did finally settle the case, a case they had little chance of winning, but that settlement cost the taxpayers over $300k. The City Attorneys, who caused this massive problem got paid an undisclosed sum, believed to be over $1 Million, to prosecute the case in a clear example of conflict of interest. The City also awarded a new $1 Million+ cyber-security contract to a new firm as a byproduct of this lawsuit (as the City realized their systems were poorly managed and had been for years, although that had precisely ZERO to do with their settings on Dropbox).

All of this is public and known. It was covered extensively on the blog that was sued, Friends for Fullerton’s Future, as well as in The Voice of OC and across various media outlets. The ACLU, EFF, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press were all involved as were many others.

But the people missing from the list of honest reporters, journalists and interested parties is the telling part of this story. While local citizens, even those on opposite sides of the political spectrum from the sued writers, were gathering to fight this atrocious & malicious ass-covering by City Hall, one specific voice was very absent in an important way – and that was the so-called “Independent News” of Fullerton; The Fullerton Observer.

It wasn’t just that The Observer wasn’t on the side of the First Amendment or Journalism in general, they went so far as to publish the City’s lies and accusations without hesitation. Worse, they hired their own “Expert” to corroborate the City’s story using only the City’s manipulated data and never once honestly or critically questioning the Dropbox settings or how the files found themselves on the open internet.

The failing here is one that is common with The Observer. They are not only far from being objective, honest or independent, it is easily argued that they serve as nothing but a PR outfit for City Hall and very specific interested parties.

Which brings us here.

Fullerton.city News endeavors to be a new outlet for news and opinions, an honest one with our biases and beliefs on our sleeves. We won’t pretend to be objective only to omit the things we find personally offensive like our competition. Everything will be looked at critically, not just the things we don’t support.

We’d like to welcome you this little endeavor.