Letters to the Editor
Misguided advice in FOI column
In his effort to mix sarcasm with advice in his Quill column (FOI Toolbox, January/February), David Chartrand misguides journalists about the importance of covering public meetings. Inexperienced reporters who whine about covering public meetings typically know little about how state, county and municipal governments function. Being there is a way for journalists to understand community leaders and how they function in a group. Why should it matter whether the meeting conflicts with the family dinner hour or the reporter must sit on a vinyl chair? Does Chartrand really think reporters should be spared such inconveniences?
Public meetings and hearings can be boring and don't always generate news, but attending meetings will always be a useful way to cover the elected and appointed leadership. The worst way is to try to guess from the agenda what might be interesting and then call officials afterthe meeting.
There's no need for Chartrand to discourage citizens from attending public hearings; few do. That's why reporters need to be there.
Retired, Central Ohio Pro chapter treasurer
Canal Winchester, Ohio
Obituary program worthy
Your feature in the January/February issue about the South Florida obituary writing contest was worthy content, and I hope it will encourage editors around the country to enhance these articles. …