Letter to the Editor

Reader calls for higher standards of reporting

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

To the editor:

Although I no longer live in Blytheville, I am a faithful reader of the online edition of the Courier News each day. It's one way I stay close to a place I love and am proud to call my hometown.

Lately, I have been fairly disgusted with the seemingly biased and petty reporting in articles and editorials regarding the leadership of our town. The article written on Friday, July 13, by Mark Brasfield with a headline of "BGRAA members exchange jabs during meeting" was the height of the most shallow-sighted, trivial articles I've read in your paper in the recent weeks. From my perspective, rather than reporting on strategic and tactical issues faced by our community, you seem to hone in on meaningless bickering and irrelevant banter that has little or no bearing on the issues at hand. Your relentless pursuit to report in this manner on current and former mayors, city council representatives, business owners and local attorneys suggest you simply want to engage in smear campaigns and witch hunts. Your readership requests and deserves better.

Elected officials may indeed receive a small payment for their service, but when they turn off the lights of their offices at the end of the day, their work is not done. Each day, evening and night they work hard to meet the needs of their constituency in light of modest resources and wide demands. Business leaders, civic leaders and local attorneys contribute to the betterment of the community by serving on boards and offering expertise in solving problems faced by small towns and local organizations. The least the Courier News could do is provide fair, balanced reporting on solid issues -- and not succumb to the tabloid-style reporting I could find in the checkout stand of my supermarket.

While I no longer live in Blytheville, I still own property, pay taxes, tithe to a church and contribute to community projects that make Blytheville a place many are proud to call home. I challenge the Courier News to raise your standards of reporting and meet the expectations of your readers both in and out of town.

Susie Sylvester Zimmerman
Castle Rock, Colo.