Sunday, May 30, 2010

Serve your shareholders

Yes, a simple statement and akin in many ways to 'motherhood and apple pie'. There is controversy anew in the Milford Daily News today generated by the headline:
"Flag-burning art decried in Franklin"
You can go read the article here. Be sure to read the comments, in particular one from 'IPayAttention' where the back story or the full story on the art display at Franklin High School was put into context.

We need to remember that the mission of a newspaper is not to generate the full story. No, it is to serve their shareholders (which means to increase revenue, or to at least meet their revenue targets). The newspapers achieve revenue by selling advertising, which means that they have committed to their advertisers 'x number' of copies, or 'y number' of readers (whichever metric they use).  It is far easier to create controversy and sell papers than it is to toil away with the real story.

The Milford Daily News is not the only paper doing this. Recent events provide plenty of examples:

There are other examples, these happen to have caught my attention recently.

Why raise this?
Especially in the light of the rapidly approaching June 8th special election here in Franklin, ones point of view becomes important.

As opposed to the newspapers looking to sell copies with attractive headlines and incomplete stories, my attempts at Franklin Matters are to provide the full and accurate details. 
  • I report live and on the fly from meetings. I do clean up typos and add reference links later, especially if they are missed in the live reporting. 
  • My effort is a public service effort to give back to the Franklin community. 
  • I will attempt to save you some time digging through the Franklin website to find info. 
  • I also work with the folks in Franklin's various departments providing feedback on how to improve the information flow.
If I do share the available information properly, then you the reader (and Franklin voter) can make an informed decision before you go to the polls. June 8th is only one election day. It happens to be a critical one for the voters to determine what services Franklin will provide. Will we be able to provide almost the same services as this past year? Or will there be additional reductions in services?

It is our choice.

I'll help to provide the information. You need to do two things:

  1. Get the information you need to make a choice
  2. Vote on June 8th
You get bonus points if you talk with your neighbors about this and get them to vote!

Additional information on the override can be found here: