We’re still here, covering the news

Tom Jackson
Mar 23, 2010

 

I’ve been switching beats, from covering the county commissioners to covering business. There’s been an important change in how county commissioners are covered by the news media, and I thought I’d share it with you.

I started at this paper in December 2004, covering Perkins Township. About three years ago, the previous county reporter, Brad Kane, left to take a job in Florida and I asked for his beat.

When I began, three reporters showed up at every county commissioner meeting. They were Richard Payerchin, a reporter for the Lorain Morning Journal, Steve Shoffner from WLEC-AM and myself. If I couldn’t make it, the Register would send a substitute reporter.

These days, only one reporter — the one from this newspaper — shows up at all county commissioner meetings. Today, for example, I was the only reporter as the commissioners laid off employees and discussed the budget. Shoffner quit coming a couple of format changes ago. Payerchin is a fine reporter but his paper closed his downtown Sandusky office last year. He still comes to some commissioner meetings, but he’s apparently stretched thin these days.

We’re also the only news organization that always covers other local government meetings, such as the Sandusky City Commission.

For some time, I’ve thought about whether to blog about this. I finally decided some of you might want to know.

Comments

Anonymous (not ...

Mr. Jackson you make an excellent point.

When local newspapers fold, who's to give the citizenry potentially important information regarding the doings of their elected and nonelected officials?

The web may be handy for big picture news items, but it tends to be inadequate in regards to reporting local news.

Locally, citizens can often make a difference; nationally we tend to have little-to-no control.

Good to know that you're on the job.

Reminds me of Tip O'Neill's famous quote: 'All politics is local.'

reader

Keep up the good work, Tom. An informed citizenry is important.

Keep Focused

Tom,

I see you alot at community events and at various govermental meeting. I observe what happens at the meetings and then see how that plays out in the printed word.

I feel you do a great job in reporting the news. I know that you watch what takes place and then dig for additional information to make you written story more informative than the actual event.

You are plesent and hard working all at the same time.

Good Job!