Friday, June 27, 2008

Letter to the Maryville Daily Times

(I sent an email containing this message to the editor and a certain reporter at the Maryville Daily Times regarding their (lack of) coverage of a certain candidate and most of all, not being fair and balanced.)

Dear Mr. Davis,

Given that the particular matter has been brought to my attention, I'm writing to express my displeasure and disappointment in your refusal to provide "fair and balanced" coverage of Tona Monroe-Ball's campaign.

Come to think of it, I think the Knoxville News Sentinel has provided better coverage. At least they've published my letters over the years, around 50 in all, which are in their nature opinion pieces. News articles, on the other hand, should be just that, news or information, not op-ed pieces masquerading as news. You can read them here.

Mr. Davis, you claim that since Tona doesn't have a degree from an "accredited institution as recognized by the U.S. Department of Education", you go on claiming that she isn't so.

Sir, if I may call you that, do you have a degree in fair and balanced reporting from an ""accredited institution as recognized by the U.S. Department of Education". If so, which one? Can you provide such documentation? One thing I hate is a politician who lies. Of course, that is in their job description. But when a reporter such as you claim to be fair and balanced, yet goes around and refuses to even adhere to basic rules of conduct, then such a lofty claim is questionable. It calls into question one's judgment and impartiality. Exactly who then pays your salary? Or is the Daily Times just another propaganda piece for the elitists?

Having been a newspaper reporter myself (not to mention working several years in television), I'm all too aware of the pitfalls that they face.
In fact, one reason I'm no longer working at a certain newspaper is because I refused to be a certain school board chairwoman's lapdog. The editor having refused to keep his private passions for this certain individual separate from his professional responsibilities, I figured it was best to part ways and I'm a better man because of it.

The circulation of the nation’s daily newspapers plunged during 2006, in one of the sharpest declines in recent history. The slide continues a decades-long trend and adds to the woes of a mature industry already struggling with layoffs and facing the potential sale of some of its flagships. In addition newsstand sales of magazines fell more than 4 percent, to about 48.7 million copies.

The trend is true of newspapers in medium sized cities and small towns too. Why? Largely because of the internet. Inspired by the 1960's counterculture revolution, the necessity for the internet grew from the populists desire to break free from the elites who control the big papers, financial institutions, broadcasters, the schools to name a few. Be they Rockefeller Republicans or Roosevelt Democrats, they are cut from the same mold. In fact, I am not too far from a lake that was once pristine farmland. But because FDR thought he knew better, he used the FBI to harass and threaten farmers (the people who built this country!) and put up a dam run by TVA. Mr. Davis, I would be interested in an article on how much debt TVA runs up these days.

You are free to do what you want. But when you continue to lose subscribers, ad revenue, and general circulation, you should for once stop whining about it and ask yourself why that is the case?


Chris Fortner

1 comment:

Amelia said...

I smell SMOKE! Haha