When I graduated from journalism school at Michigan State University in 1969, being a reporter was like receiving a special call from God. You had a responsibility to search for truth and full information, regardless of the level that you covered.
How things have changed.
An example: In St. Clair County, Michigan, local officials are at the tail end of building a new jail. Revised cost estimates are coming in at $10 million over what was anticipated. It's a small county just north of Detroit and that's a lot of money. Local politicians are wringing their hands, getting angry and blaming each other. What happened?
The local paper, the Port Huron Times Herald, is getting all self-righteous in its coverage and editorials. They take no responsibility.
They should have broken the story months ago because of enterprise reporting. They didn't.
Local media has become a news release blotter where digested news releases and meeting minutes gathered by reporters are printed. But, look at all the coverage to local sports.
Gannett Newspapers which owns the Times Herald and three other papers in Michigan needs a kick in the butt to get it back to aggressive reporting and advocacy for full openess in government.
News consumers should expect nothing less.