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The Fourth Estate — By John Reed

So now the circus in Washington enters the next act. All of those poor unionized overpaid federal workers go back to work, while the politicians continue to bicker.
Meanwhile here at home the spectacle of idiocy continues at City Hall. In either place, it’s hard to see any semblance of competence or conscientiousness… and recent events once again prove the necessity of the Fourth Estate.
It’s easy for one side or the other to blame the media for pointing out their weaknesses. And there is certainly a case to be made that some news outlets have an agenda. But consider for a minute how things might have gone differently in recent city council meetings had they not been covered by this newspaper.
Very few people here know much about lift stations or community block grants. But most of us can smell something rotten, especially when brought to light by investigative reporting.
There are plenty of folks who don’t always agree with the editor, and even a few who voice their displeasure with me. Good! Opinions are like armpits, everybody has them. Don’t mistake what you see on the front page with what gets printed on the opinion page.
Coverage of city council and county commission and Board of Education meetings are required by law. Short of putting a video camera in the meeting chamber, the reporter‘s transcript is the closest thing the rest of us have to actually being there.
That’s not a bad idea: do you suppose with video cameras present, the meetings would go more smoothly?

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