OFFBEAT: Officer, I'd like to report a reporter

For the first time in my short career at the Register I've had the police called on me. I and Register photographer Abby Bobr
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

 

For the first time in my short career at the Register I've had the police called on me.

I and Register photographer Abby Bobrow were recently at Concord Care and Rehabilitation Center trying to talk to the woman in charge of the facility for comment in a story.

I usually try to respect people's wishes when they say "no comment." But in this situation the allegations against the nursing home and its employee were so severe a simple "no comment" did not seem to serve justice.

The two of us tried a second time to talk to the woman in charge of the home, knocking on her door a few times. We continued to wait for a response. Eventually we got it.

Two police officers arrived and asked us to leave the property. We did.

I was rather shocked, as was Abby. I recall her saying something on the ride back to the office along the lines of "Only with you, Holly, would this happen."

Abby, a veteran Register employee of nearly five years, said this was the first time the police had been called on her. I've only been on the job a little more than eight months.

I guess that means I'm bad luck. Or else Abby and I always get the stories where people decide to call the police on the media.

But aside from any bad luck I felt this situation was a matter of principle.

As a journalist I'm not out there to get arrested and cause a ruckus as some people may think. It saddens me when I see tabloid journalism or how paparazzi photographers act, and realize some people believe that's how, we, as a newspaper operate.

I hope to change that misconception one story at a time. I don't believe in causing a scene or getting arrested.

I believe in someone being held accountable. And this story was an example of trying to do that.

That does not mean being held accountable to the newspaper or a reporter. But being held accountable to the people in this community, to the people living in that nursing home and to the families of those residents.

I hope this doesn't sound like preaching. I'm only trying to help people understand where the media is coming from. Newspapers exist to serve the people and inform them of what's going on. Whether or not someone believes that or chooses to read the newspaper is up to the individual. I don't try to force my profession on anyone.

But for those who do read the news and yearn for answers to what is going on in their community, there is a duty on us as information gatherers to do our job as best we can on a daily basis. And to be a voice for those who don't have one.

It would be a disservice to not knock that second time. I hope you all would too, even if the police are called.