By Frank Lewis
Over the last several years I have refrained from defending our newspaper when someone has a misconception about it. For example, because we cut down on pages, there is somewhat of a misperception that there is less content. In reality the Daily Times had more local content than ever in its history.
But when I read a column that paints our paper in an erroneous light, I have to respond. In a recent guest column my long-time friend Mike Payton wrote the following:
“I am not writing this to pound on any media forum. But my point is that we have a great many young people in our villages, cities, counties and throughout the country that do a great many good things and are respectful, hard-working and intelligent. They do not get the recognition they would get if they were robbing a bank or shooting somebody, but they keep on doing wonderful things.”
Absolutely nothing could be further from the truth and I have to defend the Times by clarifying the situation. I cannot remember the last story this paper carried that was negative about young people. On the other hand, in the same edition in which his column appeared, right at the top left on the front page was the headline – “Freeland Crowned homecoming princess Friday.” Inside was a story that a record attendance was expected at the Piketon Science Alliance for young people. On the next page was – “SCCTC visits Infra-Metals on Manufacturing Day.” That was a story about students visiting a manufacturer in New Boston.
Joseph Pratt writes wonderful stories about young people every day of the week. He writes about academics, the performing arts and the achievements of young students and children. To say – “They do not get the recognition they would get if they were robbing a bank or shooting somebody,” is completely false. I am sure that somewhere over the last few years there may have been a negative story about some young person, though I can’t remember it. But I can tell you the positive stories about our youth far outnumber the negative ones.
It isn’t true that we seek out negative stories – quite the contrary. However, it is also not our job to be a public relations entity for anyone or anything. It is about truth, no matter how positive or how negative. When much of the national news media has become agenda-driven, the Daily Times has remained interested in just writing the facts and allowing our readers to form their own opinions.
I am proud to work at a newspaper where people work hard every day to deliver the truth and to warn the public of dangers and inform them of the accomplishments of our young citizens. Just read the paper and see for yourself.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.