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Repeaters vs Reporters: There's a difference - 03/10/14


    So many factors over the last decade have hastened the pace of news gathering and reporting and hence watered down what you read or see.   With 24 hour news cycles, instantaneous live shots, news via social media, online newspapers and cable news----   it's nearly impossible for many reporters to meet their numerous round the clock demands and still have time left over to 'investigate' possible wrongdoing or abuse of power.  Unfortunately, this has lead to more propagandists parading around as journalists.  They don't have the time or know how to perform the watchdog function of journalism because they've never been given the time to do so.  Therefore,  they take the easy way out and become repeaters as opposed to reporters.  They simply report and print what officials tell them.  They reflect the status quo and do nothing to effect change or right wrongs.  They, in essence, become an extension of the very government they're being paid to cover supposedly with impartiality. This is a disservice to all news consumers because you aren't getting the whole truth and that type of reporter is not fulfilling his or her true journalistic duty. 
     I think most journalists started out, as I did 22 years ago, with the altruistic responsibility to hold those in power accountable.  Taxpayers themselves are busy doing their own jobs and raising kids and they do not have time to pore through hundreds of documents looking for misuse of government funds or lax spending.   This is my job,an awesome responsibility, which I take very seriously.  Watchdog journalism is the backbone of my profession.  Investigative journalists serve as protectors of taxpayer money.  If you want to see anarchy, do away with The Fourth Estate.  Freedom of the press and our function as watchdogs helps keep abuse of power and reckless spending in check.  I'm thankful to work at a news organization, Fox 17, that still values this function of journalism and invests time in these reports that effect change. We call these reports Waste Watch at Fox 17.
   I'll end by saying, sometimes 'officials' who have not followed the rules as they should, will attempt to deflect their displeasure of being exposed.  This has happened  more recently in the case of Hendersonville where many bona fide news organizations have uncovered questionable spending habits and brought to light some troubling findings.  Fox 17 has aired several Waste Watch reports showing city officials using taxpayer funded credit ards to buy wardrobes and using state street aid meant for paving and fixing roads to buy SUV's used for personal use instead.   We, at Fox 17,put the information out there and let taxpayers draw their own conclusions.  So far, we haven't had one tax payer contact us upset that we're working as a watchdog for them.  However, we've had a few select city officials in Hendersonville who like to deflect the truth by attempting to place  blame back on reporters for what they call bad publicity.  They've blamed reporters because their annual audit was late getting to the state.  They say reporters were initiating too many Freedom Of Information Requests and this prevented them from completing the audit on time. There's just no logic there and any right minded taxpaying citizen can see straight through that--- it's deflection at its finest.  Now, they're somehow trying to say it's the reporters again who are hurting economic development and causing companies not to choose Hendersonville.  Reporters don't hurt a city.  Reporting on wrongdoing doesn't hurt a city.  The wrongdoing itself hurts a city.   EXPOSURE of misspending doesn't hurt any city.  The ACTUAL ACT of misspending is what hurts a city.  The cart comes before the horse.  There would be no exposure if there were no wrongdoing.  That's like a kid, who got into the cookie jar when he wasn't supposed to, blaming his mom for his own actions by saying,'It's my mom's fault because she bought the cookies.'   My mom always taught me if you mess up, you fess up.  That's still timely today. 

   I'm proud to be a real journalist, a watchdog, a member of The Fourth Estate.  I make no apologies, whatsoever, for doing my job and doing it well.   I, too, am here to serve the taxpayers. 



 

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Last Update on October 24, 2014 09:09 GMT

COIN TOSS-MAYOR

LIMA, Peru (AP) -- Usually, one flips a coin to determine things like who gets the ball first in a football game or who gets first dibs at the last slice of pie or something. But to settle an election? That's what happened in a small town high in the Peruvian Andes. Two candidates tied at the ballot box -- with each getting 236 votes in the municipal election. Peru's electoral law allows tie races to be decided by a coin toss. So the coin was tossed. And the winner -- Wilber Medina. His rival says he's cool with the results. It isn't known whether heads or tails carried the day -- and the election.

PUMPKINS-PIGS

SOMERSWORTH, N.H. (AP) -- It started as a potential case of pilfered pumpkins. But it turned out to be a windfall for a group of pigs. Foster's Daily Democrat in Somersworth, New Hampshire reports hundreds of pumpkins were reported stolen earlier week. The gourds had been set aside behind a school to be sold this weekend at a craft fair. The investigation didn't get far. Turns out a farmer spotted the pumpkins and asked a school worker if he could take them to feed his pigs. The school employee didn't know the pumpkins were being saved -- and the farmer took them. Police say the only ones that turned out happy in the whole episode -- are the hogs.

FIREWORKS-FUNERAL

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) -- When the fireworks burst in the air tomorrow night over Springfield, Missouri -- it won't be the Fourth of July -- but the last of James Carver. A Missouri funeral director will be bidding farewell to his dad -- by having his cremated remains mixed with fireworks -- and launched into the sky. Carver's father is the first to try the program by Greenlawn Funeral Homes. His son Jim is the funeral director -- and says the eight-minute fireworks display will be followed by a cookout and memorial celebration.

 
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