We're making phone calls, we're sending email requests for information, we're searching the internet and the libraries for background information so that we can understand an issue and not look like idiots when we report on it, or at least some of us are, and many of us are doing it every day.
"How do you get a message out to the public, to the people that you're elected to represent if you no longer have a medium to do it with?" - Mayor Tom Carlson from his State of the City Report June 5, 2008
"I’m no longer interested in relaying any corrections beyond something simple and obvious like a Council name misspelling. However, I will also point out...." Public Information Director Louise Whall, as quoted from an email sent to a contributor of this blog. View it in the comment section under: More on 1/8-cent Transportation Tax)
I struggle daily with wondering if I am wrong to point these things out, but, you know, if city officials wouldn't say things like the above, I wouldn't have anything like that TO report.
I'll tell you something, readers, when I reported on what Greene County Commissioner Roseann Bentley said in an interview I did while writing an article for Community Free Press, February 27 issue:
"To be honest with you, when I became county commissioner, I was startled to find that it is, very often three out of the five days a week, a 7:30 or 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. job." - Greene County Commissioner Roseann Bentley, February 27 issue, CFP.
I didn't include it in the first, second, third...numerous first drafts, and I languished over the decision to publish it because I knew the detrimental effect it could have on an upcoming election. I literally lost sleep over whether to include it or not, asking my husband, over and over, "why did she say THAT!?" In the end, how could I not report it? Don't voters have the right to know? Don't I have the responsibility to inform them? Yet, I struggle and I stress every day and continue to weigh information and try to give readers the best work I can give them.
Mayor Carlson said yesterday:
"It's not like it used to be, there's not the depth, there's not the scope, there's not the understanding on the part of the media, on the topics that they're covering."
Sure, the media can take a part of the blame for that, but most of the time, I'd wager, the media is doing all they can to get information on any given topic so they can cover something fairly and it's like pulling teeth to get the information sought, then, add the timing issue. Reporters are on a dead line.
I think reporters should take some of the blame, but just as in the case of the police/fire pension plan's underfunding, there's enough blame to go around.
I was hoping I wouldn't have anything to post at JackeHammer today...looks like it just didn't work out. - Jackie Melton