By Leslie N. Dees
The Star Herald
Explanation that is. As of late, I have found myself being bombarded with questions concerning – published facts in the paper and recordings of public meetings.
A newspaper, by definition, is a printed periodical whose purpose is to deliver news and other information in an up-to-date, factual manner.
Just last week, I received a phone call asking for a favor – With holding an arrest.
It’s not the first time I’ve gotten such a request but the answer is always the same.
Arrests, like marriages and divorce decrees, building permits, governmental meeting minutes, etc., are public records. The Star-Herald does not pick and choose whose name goes in the arrests listing each week.
Then, there is the matter of recording, by audio or video, public events and meetings.
Thanks to the Great State of Mississippi’s Freedom of Information laws I am allowed to record governmental meetings either by audio or video.
Recently, I was asked at a meeting if I was, in fact, audio recording the meeting.
I would say 95 percent of the meetings I cover in Attala County are recorded in audio form and the video recording is something new that we are working to perfect.
News sources have long been the eyes and ears to the people in their community.
It’s going to continue to be that way.
And we aren’t sorry for doing our job and we aren’t trying to ruin your life – It’s just the facts ma’am.
Leslie N. Dees is the managing editor of The Star-Herald. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/lndees