Saturday, July 30, 2011

There’s no hiding now….

We’ve been reporting on The Ostrich’s multi-year tax delinquencies to it’s home town for some months now.  To the best of our knowledge, there has been no reporting on it elsewhere.

Until this week, that is.  The current edition of The Forecaster has a lengthy front page article on the subject entitled “Newspaper’s tax woes….”  It’s one of the longest articles we’ve seen in this publication.

We’ve suggested you might want to minimize your cash exposure in any subscription arrangement with the local daily, as we have.  This article reinforces the idea, if you don’t mind us saying so.  And it does appear to suggest that the paper may not be ‘long lasting.’

Clearly, The Forecaster has nothing to lose and something to gain in this situation.  Still, the article is an in depth look at a number of problems at the paper, and also includes a listing of the town’s other ‘top’ tax delinquents, including George Schott, the investor who bought the Atrium Inn some years back, and recently purchased all the former Navy housing, both on and off base.

The reporter contacted a media ethics expert (no really, that’s what the article calls her!) at a journalism school in Florida.  Geez….did she have to go more than 1,000 miles just to find one?

The ethics expert said that unpaid taxes are a worrisome sign. She added:

"Journalism is supposed to help other people fulfill their civic role, and if you're not fulfilling your civic role – and paying taxes is part of that – you may lose a little bit of standing with the audience as you try and and inspire others to engage in holding government accountable,"

Gee, you think????  A little bit of standing??  Talk about treading lightly!  That pretty much tells us what modern day “media ethics” is all about, and the standards, if you can call them that, they apply.

Scold the locals about shared sacrifice, ooze sanctimony about your noble role as ‘government watchdog,’ demand that others pay their ‘fair share’ to bring about social justice, claim to have vetted clearly questionable claims when you haven’t, and then risk giving up a “little bit of standing” when you don’t pay your taxes like the rest of the working shlubs in town?

Perhaps the word “ethics” has been revised.  If so, would someone please send us the new meaning, so we can use it to guide our future efforts? 

And if we don’t pay our upcoming tax bill, will you only consider us to have given up an itsy bitsy teeny weeny bit of standing? 

If that’s all that’s at stake, reputation-wise, why would anyone pay their taxes on time?

1 comment:

  1. Hold on just a second there. How is it that taxes can be abated by bartering for services? I didn't know that this was an option available to everyone.