This week’s Grunter editorial finally recognizes that their reporting has been lacking. What should be coming clear to everyone is that the business dealings of the town are rarely laid out at public meetings. The press may decide to only report what they are told at those meetings, and that’s fine so long as that is cited as the sole source, and recognize that even truthful disclosure can be misleading by omission.
Problems arise when details that are otherwise not revealed are brought out. If the newspaper is going to judge the validity of those details by what they heard or saw at public meetings only, they sell the public short. They can either report what is said by both sides without editorializing and attributing motive, or they can remain silent. But when they get up on a soapbox to discredit the source and make up facts of their own, they cross the line from reporting to propaganda.
If they want to delve into the real workings of town government, there are tools at their disposal. There is the Right to Know law by which they can obtain internal communications and other documents. They can ask town officials for comments and details, on the record, with the understanding that misrepresentation of the truth will be exposed. They can ask the source for their proof.
Only after completing their own investigation of the facts, will a responsible news outlet form an opinion and express it in an editorial.
Indeed, well said!!
There are many ways to misrepresent the truth. To complicate matters, people in most modern societies have refined techniques to leverage the different shades of the truth. Lying by omission, for example, is a form of passive deceit because a person is withholding information or not volunteering the total facts or truths. This is one of the most insidious techniques.
Remember, this is politics and it’s important we all clearly understand what our representative government and the press are really saying, and perhaps, not saying. As Bob L. once told me a while ago: “It’s time folks in this town either get outraged or get out their wallets”.
As to reporting, the reporter receives the SAME packet as the BOS when they do. This packet
contains all the attachments and information to report correctly, lets hope that B L has shed
some lite on the reporting and that again people will ask themselves why …is it lazy, sloppy, or
just playing up to town government or something else, like just sell papers and the heck with
fair play and an obglation to the readers to be factual.