Keeping the public informed
We have been taken to task this week for a story in last week’s Faribault County Register which dealt with the sale of a piece of public property in Wells to a private enterprise.
At issue is the fact that some people feel the story had some inaccuracies in it, and others feel that the fact that the story ran at all jeopardizes the potential sale.
It seems some people in Wells are now questioning the sale.
Our position is that the story fulfills the mission of a newspaper – that is, to give the public information they need to know.
In this case, a piece of public property is being sold. The agreement to sell was made at a public meeting.
It is news, and it is news the people of Wells should know.
It was suggested to us several times last week that we needed to wait on the story until after the deal was signed, sealed and delivered. We were told to wait for two weeks – or even until April – before running the story.
The reason? The whole thing would have been done and over with at that time.
That’s fine, except that news carries some need for immediacy with it, in order for it to qualify as news. Old news is, well, old news.
Plus, reporting on the potential sale now informs the public of what their officials – elected and appointed – are doing on their behalf.
The point of the story was not to cast aspersions on anyone, any group, or any enterprise. Nor was it to editorialize whether or not the sale should be completed as is.
The intent was simply to inform. It is what we do.
If the people of Wells are now questioning the sale, they are able to do it because they have been made aware that it is happening.
This week there is another story on the same sale, with information about a public hearing on the proposed sale.
Wells citizens will be able to voice any concerns they may have on this sale of public property.
That seems like a good thing.
As has been stated in this publication numerous times, we fully support the idea of the public’s business being conducted out in the open, in full view of the public.
And, it falls upon the press to try and continue to keep the citizens of the community informed as best we can.
We fully plan on continuing to do this.
Again, it is what we do.