I read your Editor’s Note in the Sunday paper. (link) Congratulations that “all is well” with you and the new owner Halifax Media Group. I was pleased to learn that CEO Michael Redding “clearly loves newspapers.” I, too, love newspapers. I’m an avid reader—and sometime critic.
It’s good to know that you and Mr. Redding are on the same page, so to speak, for investing “time and resources into producing more in-depth and investigative stories”; and that you have “plenty of room” to expand those news areas and want to do a better job of reporting what matters to us—I presume to speak for those of us who look for meaningful reports (rather than “stories”) on the political fronts.
We yearn to know what goes on behind local political meetings; learn about how bureaucrats actually manipulate spending and regulation—and our elected officials; find out how they get away with spending money taken from taxpayers on self-serving projects; and what interest groups actually benefit from that spending at the expense of the majority of citizen taxpayers.
Your “Watchdog” series has been helpful, but only scratches the surface of all the irresponsible waste of our money and foolish regulations. Your exposure of the Alcohol Beverage Control board fraud was great investigative journalism. In my opinion, there’s much more out there worthy of critical examination —especially downtown and at Carolina Beach in New Hanover County.
Frankly, in the past, I’ve observed that certain public programs seem to be “off-limits” to serious, in-depth investigation and reporting. The unaccountable, questionable spending and proliferation of UNCW projects, programs and curricula; taxpayer’s hard-earned cash handed out to nonprofits and select charities by our political class; and the huge WAVE Transit bureaucracy serving very few people measured against the massive costs are embarrassingly obvious examples.
In addition, real estate deals using public monies by downtown interest groups benefiting well-connected operatives at the expense of the larger body of city residents demand continual critical scrutiny. Also investigating the network of radical environmental activist groups behind the Stop Titan campaign to prevent the Carolinas Cement Company from rebuilding a former plant in Castle Hayne desperately needs exposure by “in-depth” investigative reporting.
I hope we will see the results of more “time and resources” put into investigative journalism such as “Watchdogs.” Patrick Gannon and others on the staff have made valuable contributions in the public interest.
I offer these suggestions because you asked for ideas from readers.
Thanks for “taking some time to consider how (you) might serve (us) better going forward,” to paraphrase your words.
R. E. Smith Jr.
Wilmington, N. C.