Friday, April 24, 2009

A local cartoon - a national issue

We had a tragic accident occur in our neck of the woods last week. A small party boat carrying 14 people crashed into a tug on the Intra-coastal waterway killing five people on board, and injuring many others. My paper covered the incident with professionalism, tact and compassion for the survivors and the family's of those lost. But in many ways this was a doomed boat ride from the start, and several pictures popped up on Facebook pages showing some of the same people a week before (some on the very same boat) engaged in some of the very acts that may have caused the accident. The newspaper reported this, and the reporter and my editor walked into a full on shit-storm. Here's my editor's response to the situation. And here's this week's cartoon.

This cartoon speaks to a larger problem that is going on all over the Country. Quality news has been supplanted with "safe," homogenized reporting that is both a danger to democracy and also limits the ability of the public to "know." With all due sensitivity, this was a news story, and was reported as such. I feel fortunate to have an editor who still has his head screwed on straight and is not about to bow to advertisers and irate readers. News is news. We report it. That's our job.

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