Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Every year, the same B.S. from the local paper

Each year, the local newspaper prints the following statement of position on their editorial page.  It is incredibly hypocritical if you read the email I got when I got fired.  An email.  Not a sit down, not a face to face or even a phone call.  Anyway, I laugh each year when I read this.  I am not bitter about my departure from the newspaper column, but I do know that it was poorly handled and antithetical to what you will read, below.  I can honestly say that their editorial page has not been the same since I stopped writing.  I have been told this numerous times by others, and it is obvious to anyone who reads.  There are no local opinions or voices any more in that paper.
Where we stand

Those of you who read our newspapers
regularly have a sense of who
we are and what we are about. While
the look and design of the newspaper
may change from time to time, we
want you to know that the principles
that guide the direction of this newspaper
do not change.
We think it is good to set down
those principles in writing so they
might be clarified in our minds as well
as for you.
As we head into 2015, we assert
our desire to serve the readers and
advertisers with honesty, fairness and
accuracy. These principles are important
for any newspaper and are part
of the Statement of Principles adopted
many years ago by the N. C. Press
Association, to which we ascribe.
We hope you will better understand
what we strive for after reading
the principles stated here. We also
want you to know that we strive to
be Christ-centered in all we do. The
Golden Rule will be foremost in our
minds as we produce this newspaper
for you.
And, while we are a secular newspaper,
the owners of this newspaper
acknowledge that all that is good and
acceptable is a gift from God and that
this newspaper exists to glorify Him.
Further, while this principle is not
part of the statement below, it is
added to the principles by which this
newspaper operates. We will strive
to present a newspaper that is both
morally and spiritually uplifting.
Yet, we also know that it is our duty
to you to report what is unsavory, untoward
and criminal so that you know
and understand what is occurring in
our community. Our emphasis, however,
will always be on the positive.
We also realize that we are human
and that we do make mistakes. It is
our pledge to you to correct mistakes
as we learn of them.

A Statement of Principle

Our newspapers, conscious of
their obligations and mindful of their
own human imperfections, rededicate
themselves to the principles which
guide a responsible press and a free
1. Freedom of the press exists in a
democracy not for the power of profit
or pleasure of any individual, but for
the common good. The right of the
people to know cannot be denied or
diminished without endangering democracy
itself. It is the obligation of
the press to provide accurate, timely
and complete information about all
developments that affect the people’s
well-being. Given the facts, the people
usually will reach wise decisions.
2. The trusteeship of a free press
is the final responsibility of the publisher.
He may share it but cannot escape
it. The good publisher provides
the necessary money and space for
adequate coverage of essential news
and employs personnel of integrity,
ability and sound judgment. He exalts
accuracy above every other consideration
and insists upon prompt, full
and even generous correction when
errors occur.
3. Every citizen deserves the
stimulus of a strong editorial page on
which the editor voices his own well informed
opinion clearly and for contrary
opinion. The good editor often
takes sides but without arrogance or
intolerance. He champions boldly the
rights of people, sometimes against
government itself. He provides leadership,
particularly in his own community.
He has a special responsibility
to defend the weak, prod the public
conscience and to speak out against
the injustices of which a majority can
sometimes be guilty.
4. The primary function of a newspaper
is to report the news. The good
reporter strives constantly to find and
write the truth. The task, no matter
how difficult, is his inescapable duty.
To be true, a story, together with its
headlines, must be fair. To be fair, it
must be accurate and complete. Honesty
demands objectivity, the submergence
of prejudice and personal
conviction. Fairness demands regard
for the rights of others. Accuracy demands
courage, painstaking care and
perspective to assure a total picture.
5. The final test of every article,
every headline, every editorial, every
newspaper is: Is it honest? Is it
fair? To the end that they can more
frequently answer the question in the
affirmative, this newspaper adopts
this Statement of Principle.