Balancing act: Juggling deadlines, facts and opinions to cover our communities
by Chip Latcham
Oct 09, 2013 | 298 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
As National Newspaper Week concludes and the community prepares to celebrate Western Week next week, the Bee-Picayune’s editors and publishers continue to entertain questions about coverage and fairness.

Many of these comments have centered on last week’s front-page story of a meeting of the Tea Party Patriots of Beeville and former Mayor Jimbo Martinez at that Tuesday evening’s National Night Out festivities on the courthouse square. They believe our initial story was one-sided and unfair.

First, after receiving a tip, we immediately thought that was an important topic that deserved coverage – consideration of a recall effort to remove current Beeville Mayor David Carabajal, especially with the former mayor sitting in on the process.

Secondly, Mike Keeney, a Tea Party official, decided at that meeting to go off on several tangents, criticizing the Bee Development Authority, Chamber of Commerce and Beeville Independent School District, as well as current City Council decisions.

Our city beat reporter, Gary Kent, had to write that long news story late at night Tuesday in order to meet Wednesday’s press deadlines.

Our intent always was to follow-up in the next issue of the Bee-Picayune, giving all the aggrieved organizations an opportunity to respond. We always want to hear both sides of any controversial issue, obviously in the same story or edition, if at all possible.

In addition, some of our readers still have difficulty interpreting the difference between opinion pieces (editorials and columns) from straight news reporting. Most of those former items will appear on Pages 4 and 5A of every edition. Of course, other columnists (such as Bruce Harper, Adrian Jackson, Gwen DeWitt and Karen Benson) will appear with their column header and photo. In their submissions, they are giving their own opinion and not obligated to provide an opposing viewpoint. Although rarely have the birds, animals and flowers complained.

That’s why we offer the letters to the editor as an avenue to exchange ideas from all segments of the community, witness the recent Confederate flag ban responses. They usually appear on Page 5A and we welcome letters that are germane to the common interests, not too lengthy, libelous or repetitious.

Do we always get it right? Of course not. But we welcome comments and criticism, and will do everything possible to make certain we continue to provide Bee Countians with the best community newspaper (and website) we can.

And it does our heart good when successful businessmen like Warren Buffett, Jeff Bezos, John Henry, Eric Spitz and Aaron Kushner are bullish and buying up community newspapers. We hope to be around for many, many more years, providing your community news, weddings, obituaries, columns, school happenings, sports and the like.
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