This post is making the rounds today after Kari Brandenburg shared it on her personal Facebook page this morning.
Brandenburg happens to be the Bernalillo County District Attorney, but she doesn’t write this in that capacity.
She was attacked in an Albuquerque Journal editorial on Sunday which seemed to blame the recent string of police-involved shootings (37, and counting, since 2010) on her and former ABQ Mayor Chavez. The Journal never mentioned our current mayor, RJ Berry, who took office in 2009 – a full year before the shooting string began. Nor do they mention that Berry vetoed a resolution asking the US Department of Justice to step in as early as 2011.
You can read the Journal Editorial here.
I write this as an individual who is a native to Albuquerque and loves our state and its people dearly.
I am told there was an editorial in the Journal yesterday blaming Mayor Chavez and myself for most of the recent problems our city has been experiencing. For those of you who are satisfied with simple answers and propaganda, you might be content. I am not, and I give you more credit than the newspaper does. Such is an insane and irresponsible comment, even if you don’t like Marty Chavez or me. According to the Journal, Mayor Berry is without fault. Included in that category are other key players who weren’t even named. I agree with Joe Monahan when he calls it “journalistic malpractice.” ( http://joemonahansnewmexico.blogspot.com/) I suggest madness and reckless statements only make understanding and solutions a more distant possibility.
Albuquerque deserves a paper that reflects the community- a paper that is ethical and truly wants to contribute in a meaningful way. The Society of Professional Journalists cites in its preamble, “…public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy. The duty of the journalist is to further those ends by seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues. Conscientious journalists from all media and specialties strive to serve the public with thoroughness and honesty. Professional integrity is the cornerstone of a journalist’s credibility.” Is that what we have?
The Journal is the only game in town. They wield their power mightily, or whatever power they think they have. It isn’t much, as subscriptions are at an all-time low and advertising is down. If it weren’t for the City’s advertising, it would be even further down. Do you think there’s a connection there?
The Journal isn’t interested in problems being solved. How many papers are sold when all is well and everyone is happy? They thrive on all that is bad and when it doesn’t happen on its own, they try to create it, or distort the truth, threatening people with the fact they buy ink by the barrel. As the Journal attempts to deal with its impotency, it becomes more mean-spirited. They pride themselves on pointing out all the problems in our community and point their fingers blaming those who are of a different bent than they, or those who refuse to get in bed with them. But who calls them out when they are part of the problem- a big part of the problem? All elected officials are accountable to the public and have to run for election. Who is the Journal accountable to? What do we do with a paper that has run off the tracks?
I challenge each one of you to demand a paper that meets the above standard of journalistic ethics. Cancel your subscription, if you haven’t already. Tell your friends to do the same. I haven’t read the Journal in years and find myself much happier and better informed getting my news from other sources. I also will not patronize businesses that advertise in the Journal. Call those businesses and ask them not to advertise in the Journal. Call your city councilors and tell them you don’t approve when your tax dollars are used to advertise in the Journal.
We deserve a better and more honest paper- a paper that is interested in the objective facts and can help us understand the truth- one that will help mobilize us to find the right answers and solutions. It looks like we’ll have to fight to get it, but it’s a fight worth fighting.
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