Sunday, July 31, 2005

Carthage Press letter way off base

No one ever thinks enough investigative reporting is done about whatever their pet topic it be whether it be police brutality, public spending, or in the case of a letter published in Saturday's Carthage Press, the environment.
Jean W. Griffith of Brooklyn Heights began his letter by commending Carthage Mayor Kenneth Johnson for his stand against Renewable Environmental Solutions, then started right in on the lack of investigative reporting done by The Carthage Press.
"The question that should be on everyone's mind is why this serious threat to the health of property owners of Carthage took so long to appear on the front page of the Carthage Press. This newspaper is so obsessed with preserving its journalistic integrity it has forgotten the reason for its existence: to publish the facts and checks them for accuracy it has about as much chance of being sued for libel and slander as it does of being struck by lightning or winning the Power Ball jackpot."
As far as I can tell, the Press has done a good job of covering the RES situation and though Griffith rightly credits reporter Dennis Sowers with his coverage, it should be noted that the stories he writes also go through his editor, Ron Graber, who has shown no reluctance to tackle environmental issues.
At the same time, it is not as if this is the first time the Press has taken the lead on environmental issues. When Neil Campbell was managing editor in the early 1990s, I wrote a long series of articles on the hazardous waste incinerator at ICI, another series that showed that a convicted felon, against state statutes, was being allowed to apply to operate a landfill in eastern Jasper County. I wrote stories about money being funneled into State Representative Bubs Hohulin's campaigns by people associated with corporate farming interests, and those kinds of stories have been written throughout the years, after I became managing editor, and many since I left The Press in May 1999.
I am always irritated by people who think that the world started and ended when they developed an interest in an issue. When you have a staff of five people, which is about what the Press has consistently had through those years, to accomplish that amount of investigative reporting is nothing short of remarkable.
I have no doubt of Griffith's sincerity, but her allegations are way off base.


Anonymous said...

Randy, Jean Griffith is a man not a woman.

Randy said...

Whoops. That will be fixed.

Anonymous said...

he's educated too,