I figured I had better write this now since I am not currently running for anything and would not this to be misconstrued for “run of the mill” ass kissing…
So I was just reading about the 20th anniversary of the disappearance of Jodi Huisentruit. Members of local media have a tough and often thankless job and face some unique dangers. Certainly there is a local celebrity awareness that might sometimes lead to dangerous obsessions from people in various mental states. We might never know what happened to Jodi, but the story remains a very sad one for the region. I moved here just 16 years ago, but remember hearing about this in Northern Minnesota.
I will let the cat out of the bag and say that these positions don’t pay nearly enough for the education, thoughtfulness, dedication, and awful hours the jobs require. Whether it is print, radio, TV or “other” these are really difficult positions. I can tell you that when I talk about the need for affordable housing there are many in the media that have a special interest in that need. Often people covering the Rochester marketplace can not even afford to live here. That is too bad. I much prefer a BBC model where by the news is valued enough by people that they actually fund it. (Same goes for publicly owned elections…) We do have some of that with Public Radio & Television, but most journalists are tasked with covering the news and making sure that a station or publication is profitable.
I have a great deal of respect for the journalists in this community and try to be as accommodating as possible when they would like to discuss an issue. I try to make myself available when I feel like it, but also when I don’t. I always answer every question as honestly and completely as I can. Interestingly, I rarely listen to the radio and don’t even have a TV hooked up to anything. Sometimes I try to suggest meaningful questions or topics that I feel might be interesting. Twitter has certainly helped me share thoughts on a real time basis.
So to folks who do the thankless job of working behind the scenes AND covering local issues, a sincere, “Thank You.” I appreciate what you are doing and I know that much of the engaged public does as well.