Tuesday, January 04, 2011
How The Janesville Gazette Can Help Rock County
Become an "Ambassador of Truth."
Stop rearranging and diluting articles and rewriting titles, headlines and stories to advantage your own social, political or economic agenda. Stop being a marketing firm for the republican party. Stop becoming the front man for political operatives and don't allow yourselves to participate in personal smear campaigns. Instead, expose them. The truth will always win. You are supposed to be a newspaper, isn't it time to start acting like one?
When a Fortune 500 company requests $225,000 in a forgivable loan for "restructuring" from modest Janesville tax payer coffers, investigate for five minutes on your own and report your findings without omission. Tell taxpayers that they are a publicly held company with $460 million in cash on hand at least a few days before the public hearing. It might not have changed the outcome. But tell the truth, so I don't have to.
When a politically active business collective demands that government stay out of their business yet forms an economic development group with strong governmental "connections" to help leverage their private projects - Tell people the truth, so I don't have to.
If government officials make a decision to protect the people or the environment, or don't approve a request for taxpayer assistance to billionaire developers - don't slam them for being "anti-business." Defend government for staying out of businesses way. Promote means-testing and hardship qualifiers for venture capitalists and entrepreneurs like they do for individuals requesting welfare assistance. If they are gaming the system - expose them - even more so if they're wealthy. Start promoting private venture capital and bank loans for for-profit enterprise. Don't mix or confuse pro-business with pro-jobs. They're not the same. Wean yourselves off of government assistance and privileges and become an agent for the free markets. Start telling the truth, so I don't have to.
Stop lying for your own personal, profit and political benefit. Stop using your printing presses to spread misinformation. Start printing the whole truth. Don't worry, the people can handle it. Of course you should apologize profusely for your past transgressions. But that could take months, so we know that won't be forthcoming. But start printing the truth and people will notice it - immediately! People are generally a forgivable lot.
Don't start telling people that Janesville streets are lined with gold - because they're not. Don't start telling people they can catch their daily quota of lunker Walleye every day from the Jackson St. bridge - because they won't. Start telling the truth and the optimism will flow naturally.
Think about it Gazette. It's never too late to make or add another New Year's resolution. Start publishing the truth. Become an Ambassador for Truth.
Note: I'm going to blow my own horn here for the second time in nearly five years. Tell your friends and co-workers about this blog. Get involved in the conversation. Bring up some of the issues and viewpoints I write about when you're with family and friends. Even better, bring up my blog if you strongly disagree with my politics and viewpoints. Prove me wrong. If others are dismissive for partisan or personal reasons, ask them where they draw their opinions from about the local media or politics. You will likely be surprised by their answers. Above all, be respectful. It might not seem like it in today's corporate marketed personal gain liar lobby environment but in the end, the truth always wins.