Scott Tibbs
blog post
October 28th, 2004

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The Herald-Times is at war with the truth

A couple of observations on County Commissioner Iris Kiesling's rather nasty personal attack on County Council member Jeff Ellington, reported in Wednesday's Herald-Times. (Ellington is challenging Kiesling for a spot on the County Commissioners.)

First of all, there is nothing to this story. The companies who donated to Ellington were not in negotiations with the Solid Waste Board on which both Kiesling and Ellington sit. Kiesling is grasping at straws, and it is obvious she is in real fear that she will lose her seat. This campaign had been rather clean up until Kiesling decided to launch a personal attack against her opponent. It is really too bad that Kiesling took this route.

Secondly, like the story earlier this week on the race for Surveyor, this story represents poor journalism on the part of the Herald Times. (Gee, that's a big surprise.) The headline and opening paragraphs left the impression that Kiesling's personal attack on Ellington had some merit; only when you turn to the inside of the paper do you see that the charges were baseless. The Herald-Times (which endorsed Kiesling, by the way) did a disservice to its readership and to the profession of journalism by painting an untrue picture with the headline.

Monroe County desperately needs another newspaper (even if it is a weekly paper) to compete with the Herald-Times. Blogs like this one and even the Indiana Daily Student can provide some competition, but it won't give the H-T the challenge it needs in terms of pure readership. Competition would benefit the public by providing an alternative news source to make sure people get truthful information and would improve the Herald-Times by forcing them to move away from the ethic of laziness that currently dominates at 1900 South Walnut.