Laziness No Excuse for Failing to Hold Officials Accountable

By Niederpruem, Kyle Elyse | The Quill, September 1, 2000 | Go to article overview

Laziness No Excuse for Failing to Hold Officials Accountable


Niederpruem, Kyle Elyse, The Quill


Use it or lose it.

That's the advice you often hear about federal and state access laws. When access isn't exercised, it's easily taken away

So true. And so sad.

Do we fail to call out the liars in government? Do we fail to hold our ground on public property? Do we bend to the will of bullying attorneys? If you answer yes to any of those questions, you should be selling shoes. I mean it Look to the prospects of a mindless job with a 7.5-hour day Take a leisurely lunch hour. Watch the squirrels play in the park Hang out at the mall eating pretzels.

I have no patience for reporters and editors who say they don't have the time to pursue public records on a daily deadline. No respect for those who don't follow through after a daily deadline dissolves into tomorrow.

Telling the public the truth, unvarnished and without editorial comment, is what it's all about.

You can't do that by listening to a "government spokesperson" one whose primary job responsibility is to filter information instead of giving you direct access to the data you seek.

But it isn't easy changing that mindset in a newsroom. I recently became an editor and told my small crew: "No flacks. No public relations people. No spokes-types of any human form will appear in your stories" It's not as problematic as it sounds. The governor has more than just one press secretary. The governor has executive assistants, a lawyer, a chief of staff, and others directly responsible for policy. Call `em.

Agency heads need to answer direct questions. School superintendents should be called at home. The mayor has a beeper. Homicide detectives can be hit on their police radios through central dispatchers.

We've become a nation of lazy journalists, finding convenience through expediency. Avoiding contact with the critical people who should be held accountable in print inches and in videotaped minutes. It doesn't make your job tougher to take that extra step. It makes your stories richer and more meaningful. How do you do it? Don't accept the status quo.

And let others get you there. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Laziness No Excuse for Failing to Hold Officials Accountable
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.