BYH to these elected officials who are paid by our tax dollars naming buildings after them, i.e. Butterfield, Owen's to...

We are not the enemy


Thursday, August 16, 2018

Cooke Communications N.C. today joins newspapers across the nation writing in response to President Donald Trump’s regular attacks against journalism and the press.

Too many nights to count, journalists sit in nearly empty city council chambers, school board meeting rooms and county office complexes, carefully transcribing every budget cut, tax hike, hiring debate and enrollment discussion.

Too many afternoons to measure, journalists pore over economic development statistics, redistricting maps, zoning proposals, police reports and lawsuit filings — all in the hopes of gleaning information that will be of interest — and of use — to residents in the communities they serve.

Members of the media realize that not everyone can get to those meetings or wade through those statistics. We also realize something else — the facts we uncover and the stories we produce can have a direct effect on the people we serve. 

So we spend our days and nights looking for information. Not all the facts we report are pleasant. But they help people make informed decisions.

We are, quite simply, a community’s eyes and ears.

But there are, quite sadly, some people who seem to prefer the community be blind and deaf.

President Donald Trump has had a contentious relationship with the media since the early days of his campaign as a candidate. Lately he has ratcheted up his attacks on members of the press, labeling them “the enemy of the people,” and encouraging his supporters to jeer at and even threaten them during speaking engagements and other events.

Trump is not the first president to become frustrated with the media. President Harry S. Truman once wrote, “Presidents and the members of their cabinets and their staff members have been slandered and misrepresented since George Washington.” But Trump’s continual refrain that any coverage critical of him is “fake news” has had a profound and damaging effect on journalists’ credibility.

And that’s bad for our country and our community.

We are not the enemy.

In a democracy, the press is not supposed to shower public officials with accolades and praise every decision. We exist to ask questions, dig for facts and uncover the truth hidden behind public relations spin sessions. We ask the questions that members of the public cannot — is this necessary, what will this cost us, why now and who may be hurt?

We challenge authority, because officials are human beings who can make mistakes and sometimes make decisions based on self interest instead of public interest.

Holding people accountable is part of our mission. But only a part.

We also let the public know how to make their voices heard — from question-and-answer sessions to public forums and ongoing city surveys. We report on positive progress — new businesses, infrastructure improvements, medical advances and educational achievements.

We provide information that affects people’s lives — will the utility’s water main project raise customers’ monthly bills? Will redistricting pull students out of their neighborhood schools and send them on a bus ride across town?

We are not perfect but we are there  — for rezoning votes and school dress code discussions, bond requests and election results.

We keep our eye on the community, and through our eyes others get a better view of the place they live.

That’s our job. And it’s not the work of an enemy.









Humans of Greenville


Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.


November 20, 2018 - 13 minutes ago

What happens now? That is the essential question following the New York Times' troubling investigation into Facebook's response to Russian interference on its platform. The article has prompted sharp criticism of the company from all quarters, and Facebook deserves the blowback. But Americans…

Facebook-Security Breach

November 19, 2018

Well of course it’s blatant and outrageous gerrymandering, with state and federal legislative districts deliberately drawn to give one party overwhelming advantage over the other. Nobody has offered an honest argument to the contrary.

Rather, the Dark Lord of Gerrymander — more widely…

Constitutional Amendments-1

November 16, 2018

Rising casualties. Aerial assaults. Weary ground forces. The charred desolation of thousands of homes. The most apt metaphor about California’s rampaging wildfires is warfare.

And just like in any war, one of the first casualties is truth.

Who or what is to blame for the conflagrations?…

California Wildfires-12

November 14, 2018

Members of the N.C. General Assembly will get some legislative exercise to help burn off their Thanksgiving calories this year, returning to Raleigh for a late-November special session that will, among other things, write the rules for the state’s newly enacted constitutional requirement for…

Voter ID Lawsuit

November 13, 2018

Anita Earls, who was elected Tuesday to a seat on the N.C. Supreme Court, ought to be happy that legislative Republicans apparently spend so much time reading Niccolo Machiavelli’s 16th century treatise on power, “The Prince.”

Machiavelli urged a style of cunning political…

Supreme Court Earls

November 10, 2018

The Democrats’ return to control over the House of Representatives is much more than a victory for one party. It is a sign of health for American democracy.

Distrustful of untrammeled majorities, the authors of the Constitution favored checks and balances, including, crucially, the check that…

Election 2018 Trump

November 09, 2018

With the courts and Trump Administration rolling back federal climate regulation, green activists have turned to the states. But there’s a troubling ethical twist: Instead of merely lobbying, activists are placing employees in Attorneys General offices in dubious private-public condominiums.…

November 04, 2018

President Trump’s assertion on Tuesday that he could end birthright citizenship via an executive order likely is another attempt to stir up immigration as a campaign issue ahead of next week’s midterm election.

It’s a bad and almost certainly unconstitutional idea, and had the…

AP Explains Birthright Citizenship-2

November 04, 2018

Pitt County is fortunate to have a ballot full of fine candidates running for elected office on Tuesday. Women and men have put their names forth to produce contested races for almost every seat. The races offer contrasts in style, personality and direction.

The Daily Reflector has reported on the…

November 02, 2018

It’s natural to think of worst case scenarios when such a scenario is right before your eyes. So it was Monday when authorities said a Butler High School student was shot and killed by another student during a dispute in a school hallway. The death appeared to be the first fatal shooting…

North Carolina School Shooting-3
90 stories in Editorials. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 9
        Next Page»   Last Page»