To the editor:
(December 2018, Plain Press) As an instructor of journalism at Kent State University and Cuyahoga Community College, I am appalled that your newspaper shunned journalistic ethics to run what was essentially a rant by Anita Brindza, retired director of Cudell Improvement Inc., in your October 2018 edition (“Former executive director of Cudell Improvement Anita Brindza speaks regarding the Cudell Improvement/Detroit Shoreway Strategic Alliance”).
Brindza was the director of our neighborhood community development corporation for many years, but her day has passed. Because she is distressed that she no longer holds her long-time – and very well paid – position with Cudell, she sat in what your article described as her “much smaller and lonelier office” at Western Elmwood Berea Corp. (WEBCO) and blasted our councilman, Matt Zone, and the staff at Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization, regarding the new strategic partnership between the two CDCs.
Your article was written by Victoria Shea. At the end of the article was a disclaimer, noting Shea is “friends with Ms. Brindza.” Shea ignored what all my students know: that the job of a good journalist it to get BOTH sides of the story. Apparently, Shea made no effort to contact those with an opposing view. If the reporter did make such an effort, she excluded it from her entirely one-sided story.
Writing as a resident of the Cudell neighborhood since 1985 and as a leader of our West Boulevard Neighbors block club, I am THRILLED about the new partnership between Cudell and Detroit Shoreway. We in the Cudell neighborhood can now call on an amazing staff of expert specialists at Detroit Shoreway for questions regarding housing code, low-interest loans for home improvements/ renovation and other concerns; Cudell has gone many months with no housing staff specialist. Further, Christopher Brown, the very excellent safety liaison at Cudell, is now also available to those who live in the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood who have police/safety-related questions or issues.
I hope your newspaper publishes an apology to Matt Zone and the staff of Detroit Shoreway, and I hope in the future, you will print BOTH sides of any story you publish.
Editor’s Note:The article referenced in the above letter was in the format of an interview. Interviews usually reflect the perspective of the person being interviewed –that includes that person’s observations, opinions and biases. It is the position of the Plain Press, as should be of all news organizations, to give voice to the voiceless –in this case, that would be person being interviewed, Anita Brindza, because she was not present at the public meeting previously covered by the Plain Press.
Admittedly, upon retrospect, the “disclaimer” at the end of the interview may have been a bit wishy washy on the part of the Plain Pressand should not have been included since the format the writer selected did not require it.
Additionally, the Plain Pressis firmly to committed to our responsibility in holding our elected leaders accountable to the public and will therefore not be issuing apologies to any public officials for carrying out the duties of a free and diligent press.