Letter: A reasonable city policy on media
To the editorial of THE EAGLE:
The Eagle editorial (July 2) was titled "Transparency is the best policy," and suggests that the media should have total access to City Hall and city departments because they are taxpayer-funded. A media protocol was put in place to make the public more accurately and fully informed, rather than getting a fraction of the story on a particular issue by talking to a particular employee who may not have knowledge of the entire scope of a project or an issue. There are many taxpayer-funded organizations, all of whom have protocols for media. They include Congressman Neal, Governor Patrick and many Massachusetts mayors and our school system. They are organizations that are funded with taxpayer dollars.
Maxmillian Construction and Petricca Industry, as well as smaller area contractors, often receive large government contracts. Berkshire Health Systems, General Dynamics, and Crane & Company are funded in part and in some cases totally from government contracts. There are many others and I am sure they all have media protocol programs as well. I can’t imagine an Eagle reporter showing up at General Dynamics, or Crane and being able to wander through the halls to prepare a story.
Can there be complete transparency when an issue is partially examined by a reporter and then editorialized by the newspaper’s management? The protocol was put in place to be efficient and responsive. In other words, to be business-like, as government is so often encouraged to be.
The writer is mayor, city of Pittsfield.
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