Thursday, April 14, 2005

Not content with one attempt at character assassination, The Joplin Globe will strike again in its Friday edition.
A follow-up story on the situation that occurred in a hallway during the Joplin R-8 Board of Education meeting will be featured. The headline on the internet edition reads, "Take it somewhere else, superintendent says."
The subhead reads, "R-8 Administrator says dispute does not belong at school"
I totally agree with Superintendent Jim Simpson's assessment and I will go one step further. It does not belong in the area's newspaper of record either. And don't think this is being said because I work for the Joplin R-8 School District. I rarely write about district occurrences on this blog, but I do write about area media. When they do good work, I will happily give them credit, but when they miss the mark, I will go Truman on them.
A big part of the first story was that the PTO president was going to the police to tell how Ms. Randall's family allegedly threatened her. She hasn't gone to the police yet, according to the Globe article.
The Globe thought this story was big enough that it merited filing a Freedom of Information request for the videotape of the altercation.
If a real story is going to come out of this mess, it hasn't shown any signs of appearing thus far. If the board member and the PTO president had exchanged punches, that would have been newsworthy. They exchanged words and it was not a part of the school board meeting. A petition is being circulated to remove newly-elected Rhonda Randall as a board member. Perhaps that is the news peg. Even so, The Globe editors should have shown more discretion. When they begin to print accusations about elected officials' private lives...when they clearly have no bearing on whether they can do the jobs they have been elected to do...it can do nothing but discourage people from running for office. Especially an unpaid office like school board member.
It appears that either the Globe is taking a more tabloid approach (and I mean the most low rent of the tabloids), or that someone at the Globe has an ax to grind.
However, I will happily back off this stance once I see the complete list of affairs that Joplin Globe editors and reporters have had and a listing of how many of its reporters have been called whores. After all, that is the label the Globe, through quoting Ms. Braun, has attached to Ms. Randall on two consecutive days.
I await that list, but please don't send any pictures. I'm all out of Pepto-Bismol.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

You are right, thr real story here is that Ms. Randall is being asked to resign. Sice the newspaper wrote these articles many people have been going online and giving their comments. If you check under the two articles on the joplin online edition you will see that not only are people telling Randall to step down they are also writing to the Administration building and asking for her removal immediately. THAT IS A STORY and the Globe should be looking into it.

Anonymous said...

I am so appauled that you would comment about so many things in which you know nothing about. You are listening to the Globe, who we all know never gets the facts straight, and making comments about Mrs. Braun, who you obviously do not know. If you would get your facts in order, you would find out that Rhonda Randall did in fact have an affair last summer with her married neighbor. She hurt a family deeply and has no morals. She has no place on the R-8 school board.

Randy said...

While I can understand the depth of your feelings about this situation, please read over the items I have posted. They are more aimed at The Joplin Globe's coverage of the situation, which was atrocious. I spent 22 years making decisions on what stories should be run in what situations. I would never have run that story. While I am not going to comment on any specific person, there are people who are serving in all kinds of important positions who have done things that I personally find morally reprehensible. That does not mean they should be written about in the newspaper. If it becomes part of the public record, in other words, if a lawsuit is filed or if comments are made in a public meeting, that is a different matter. If a politician campaigns on a platform of restoring family values and at the same time is destroying them, that is a story...but the level of proof has to be there. It cannot start at the rumor level, which is what the Globe's two stories on the Joplin R-8 situation did. If newspapers of record do not hold themselves to higher standards, they risk the danger of losing the value they hold for their communities. There is not one thing I can write in this posting that will convince people who are against Ms. Randall, but my firm belief is that journalists have to be held to a higher standard. If I heard about a story like this during my days in the newspapers, I would have begun collecting information, knowing that there was a chance that this could become a viable story. I probably would have done some checking on my own to determine the validity of the stories, but if all I had was what The Joplin Globe had when it ran its two stories, I would have held it, at least until there was more information available.

Melissa Braun said...

Mr. Turner, I understand your comment completely. It may or may not surprise you to know that the Globe was presented with evidence both before and after the election with proof of this affair. I even talked with Edgar Simpson right after the first article and told him all of the things that were printed incorrectly. Instead of fixing the mistakes that Jeff Wells made, they proceded to run a second article with the same lies. I have a hard time believing anything that the Globe prints.

Sey Hey said...

Something of interest pertaining to The Joplin Globe and the community it serves in light of criticism of them:
http://huckboyd.jmc.ksu.edu/symposium/VIII/muellerpaper.pdf#search=%22school%20board%20joplin%22