There have been some recent comments charging, or alluding to, bias in our coverage of the 33rd Senate District race. In the interest of full disclosure and transparency, I did publish an Editor’s Note in the Norwood News about this recently but I see now that I should post something here, too.
The anonymous commenter in a previous post is correct. My wife, Margaret Groarke, is a supporter and volunteer in the campaign of Desiree Pilgrim-Hunter. I, however, do not support any candidate. Nor does the Norwood News, the Tremont Tribune, the Mount Hope Monitor or this blog. In fact, as a non-profit, tax-exempt organization, we are prohibited from making endorsements. But even if that weren’t the case, we deeply believe our role is not to tell our readers who to vote for but to give you as much information as possible to help you make your own decision. That’s what we’ll be doing in the coming weeks, here and in our community newspapers. And that’s what I’ve done in more than 15 years of editing the Norwood News, and more recently the publications of the Bronx News Network.
One more thing: We are a news organization, but a short-staffed one. I do very little reporting these days and none on this race (though I do participate occasionally in editorial discussions) as most of my work involves the business side of things and managing and building the Bronx News Network. So in terms of full-time editorial staff, we only have two editors (James Fergusson and Alex Kratz) who somehow manage to edit and write for three newspapers, write for the blog, and run a youth journalism program. We also have one part-time reporter (Jeanmarie Evelly). Alex and James also are responsible for assigning stories to our reporting interns and edit everything the interns write for our newspapers and the blog, not to mention all the administrative tasks in their job descriptions. So, obviously, they have a lot to do in a day and they’re not going to be able to cover everything and they’re going to have to make choices about what they cover and how they cover it. But our paramount objectives are fairness and accuracy and getting as much information out to you as humanly possible.
You’re of course free to be critical of anything we write and point out where you think we’re erring – that’s the beauty of the Web. It’s an intense level of accountability that we welcome and that we think makes us all better journalists.
Speaking of accountability, you should also know that you can talk about coverage with any of us at any time. If you would like a staff listing of e-mail addresses, just e-mail me at jordan-at-bronxnewsnetwork.org and I’ll send it right over to you. You can also call any of us at anytime at (718) 324-4998.
Thanks for participating in the discussions on the Bronx News Network. Keep the comments coming.