Amarillo's media has an issue with honesty in journalism and the issue was on the full display today.
First of all, let me point out that this is not directed toward every member of the media or toward every outlet. David Lovejoy, of KGNC, is a perfect example of someone who is doing media in the right way. ABC 7 Amarillo is also typically on-point on many stories that it decides to run.
The major issue with local media comes from two outlets: one particular television station and another local newspaper.
Today, both of the unnamed local outlets made the decision to run a story about a school board member's previous activities involving local authorities. The story will not be repeated here because the subject matter of the article was two years old and was not relevant to the position on the school board, the board member's eligibility to hold office, or the board member's actions on the board or in a similar governmental capacity.
Instead of focusing on real news, both outlets made the decision to run the politically motivated story that has no place in any newsroom. The decision to run the story shows that the outlets are more interested in ratings than actually exercising journalistic integrity.
Amarillo has a media problem that has been created by outlets running stories for artificial scandal. Many local politicians have been the subject of such attacks and many will continue to be as different media outlets act as mouthpieces for special interest groups.
The Amarillo Pioneer is not beholden to any local official or special interest groups and will continue to run stories that deal with real topics. We will continue to investigate local doings and we will continue to report instances that are relevant to the status of board members or government policy.
In the meantime, local readers and viewers should hold media outlets to a higher standard. These types of attacking opinion pieces disguised as news should not be allowed to make final news products.
Amarillo should tell the media: Do better.
-Thomas Warren III, Editor-In-Chief