Friday, January 08, 2016

Journal; "The story did not go into greater detail, but it was not incorrect."

journal photo
I had written to Journal Managing Editor Karen Moses.  I complained that Thom Cole and the Journal had reported incorrectly on APS' spending on litigation of my complaints against Marty Esquivel and the board.

I wrote;
In your report you wrote; The Robles and Yenson firms have received a total of nearly $288,000 since 2013 for representing APS and the Board of Education in the lawsuit,

The truth is, a significant part of the $288K was spent on Marty Esquivel's defense alone; to imply that the spending was for representing APS and the Board is inaccurate and misleading. ...

Moses replied;
Dear Mr. MacQuigg
We have discussed your request for a correction and decided we will have to agree to disagree on this one. The story says two law firms were paid $288,000 for representing APS and the board. That included employees and all board members. In this case, Marty Esquivel was a board member.
The story did not go into greater detail, but it was not incorrect. (emphasis added)

Thank you for your feedback.
This then, becomes as issue of semantics; it depends on the meaning of the word "incorrect".

Under the law; the lowest set of standards acceptable to civilized human beings, the coverage was not "incorrect" because it did not have "errors".  The facts as stated are correct.

On the level of standards of conduct like APS' student standards of conduct,if coverage is "incomplete" it is "incorrect".  If a coverage lacks lack candor, forthrightness and honesty, it is incorrect..

The report that $288K were spent on "APS and the board" creates beliefs or leave impressions that are untrue or misleading; that nearly a third of a millions dollars was spent defending them all, when in fact, the lion's share of the money was spent defending Marty Esquivel alone.  He hired his own damn lawyer just for himself!

The board knowingly permitted or negligently allowed Esquivel to mount a cost-is-no-object defense of his ego.  They permitted or allowed him to spend without limit and without oversight.  There is no evidence to the contrary.  None.  Not one iota.

Yet, in accordance with the law; on the facts alone, Journal coverage is "correct".
In accordance to any standards of conduct higher than the law; the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics, or  
APS student standards of conduct for example,
Journal coverage is manifestly incorrect; egregiously so.

As an aside, I asked Moses;
Does the Journal admit to and accept an obligation to comply with the SPJ code?
She is yet to respond.  In my experience, when the question is;
are you willing to be held honestly accountable to meaningful standards of conduct and competence?
any answer except yes, means no.  Moses' response means no.

They, Moses and her boss Journal Editor in Chief Kent Walz, have abandoned their obligation to inform the democracy in favor of covering for a man whose connections to the Journal and Walz, have yet to be honestly acknowledged or disclosed.

The trust of Journal readers is being betrayed.

photos Mark Bralley

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