As anyone who attended Monday’s Village Council meeting knows, the Forest Park Review received a cordial but effective public spanking from Mayor Calderone and Village Attorney Michael Durkin for its past coverage of the Whistleblower Reward and Protection Act.
And though we did not necessarily need to be called out on our typos at a Council meeting, we are not complaining. While we don’t believe our coverage was inaccurate, we certainly could have used more detail in addressing the limitations of the act, which the Village adopted on Monday.
We’re in the business of airing out mistakes, and we welcome others to do the same to us.
What bothers us is not when our mistakes are pointed out, but when we’re accused of bias. There seems to be a perception among some village officials that the Review’s telephone is a 24-hour hotline for rumors and grievances from those with an ax to grind against the Village, which we just gobble up and publish indiscriminately.
Of course, we always welcome tips from our readers, whether the stories they suggest are positive, negative or neutral. When we get such a tip, we ask around, do some research, and determine whether it’s worthy of a story. Just because we inquire about something does not mean the next week’s paper will feature a front page expose’.
This does not mean that we are out to please everyone at Village Hall ” any decent newspaper is at times going to appear anti-administration, as it is our job to be skeptical. Taxpayers expect things to go smoothly and their money to be well-spent. Just as the Weather Channel does not report sunrise each day, we cannot fill our paper with stories about the things that are supposed to happen. We’re sorry if it seems nitpicky at times, but the news is usually in the details.
We just hope there are no typos in this editorial, because now we know the Village is watching. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Partners in cyberspace
Speaking of critical coverage, we continue to welcome and commend the participation of those at forestpark.com in the town’s public discourse. We’re not sure if we want to see our elected officials spending too much of their time posting on blogs, but it certainly does provide an opportunity for the kind of no-holds-barred debate not usually seen at council meetings.
The site offers an unusual outlet for Forest Parkers with strong opinions, and we encourage more to participate. We understand the concerns about rumors and half-truths going unchecked on the board, but the best way to resolve this problem is through more informed discussion by more people. In the end, the truth, or at least both versions of it, will always emerge.