Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Defending the credibility of the Kuna Melba News

Kuna City Council member Doug Hoiland is leveling some pretty serious charges against the Kuna Melba News in his guest opinion piece in this week's Kuna Melba News. I felt compelled to respond in-depth to what I consider serious accusations against the integrity and credibility of this newspaper.
The two main accusations are:
• The newspaper practices yellow journalism by distorting, exaggerating or exploiting the news to create sensations or attract readers.
• The newspaper intentionally omits background and details in an effort to mislead our readers or give them an incomplete picture of what’s happening.
First, Mr. Hoiland specifically cites my editorials accusing the city of “making decisions behind closed doors.” Mr. Hoiland is misinformed. I did not accuse the city of making decisions about city hall behind closed doors, which is a violation of open meeting laws. I took the city to task for simply meeting behind closed doors. Many times, I have recognized and even defended the city’s legal right and necessity to go into executive session. However, in this case, I made the argument that, while certainly legal, executive session was just bad government. I continue to maintain that the city should have involved the community from the beginning, with a city hall task force, a site selection committee, a real estate appraisal on the building and land, interviews with other cities and experts about how to run an indoor pool, analysis of future costs and liabilities, etc. Unfortunately, none of that took place.
I do take comfort, though, in knowing that the vast majority of our thousands of loyal readers would find laughable the notion that the Kuna Melba News distorts, exaggerates or exploits the news. If anything, the Kuna Melba News has been accused of toning down some of the divisive rhetoric of the past. In addition, the editorials to which Mr. Hoiland is referring could be found on Page 4, hardly a scream from the rooftop.

You can read the rest of this editorial as well as Hoiland's full opinion piece in this week's Kuna Melba News.