Organizations around the world, from for-profit corporations to nonprofits to government agencies, increasingly use social media to communicate with the public and to share information.
This is a positive development because, especially in a free society, information must flow freely. Truth emerges from transparency. However, as we see every day on television, radio and the Internet, it is sometimes difficult to discern the truth from all the information that is out there. After all, our system of the free flow of information depends on some degree of honesty and fairness from both the press and providers of information including public relations professionals.
Times-Dispatch waited 9 days to report news:
10 Aug 2012. WTVR – Audit: Office of Minority Business Development is ineffective, needs overhaul
19 Aug 2012. Times-Dispatch – Contractors, audit report focus criticism on city office
….Buffett told Berkshire’s newspaper editors last week that he believes newspapers will do well if they remain the primary source of information about their community and charge for online news.
“It’s your job to make your paper indispensable to anyone who cares about what is going on in your city or town,” he said….
Buffett’s Bershire owns the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
Media General Inc. today announced that it is selling 63 newspapers, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, to Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. for $142 million.
Television station CBS 6 WTVR-TV reported that a city official said the city was obligated to build a studio. The city official denied making the statement. WTVR-TV maintains their report is accurate because of language in the ordinance.
There are two problems with this. First, WTVR-TV is wrong to cite a person as the source of a statement found in a document. Second, WTVR-TV is wrong that the statement is in the ordinance. The statement is in a non-binding “intracity correspondence.” Neither the ordinance nor the franchise agreement specify that the city must build a studio.
From: “Wallace, Michael – OPS”
Sent: Wednesday, September 21, 2011 5:33 PM
Subject: RE: Cable Franchise Agreement
Thank you for your e-mail. The CBS6 news report was done in error and is misleading, as I never stated that the City was required by ordinance to build a television studio.
As there are no records in existence that are relative to your request, this concludes my response to your Virginia Freedom of Information Act records request.
Public Information Manager III
Office of the Press Secretary to the Mayor
City of Richmond
900 East Broad Street, Suite 404
Richmond, VA 23219
The Richmond Times-Dispatch is raising eyebrows with its Sunday front page–or, rather, the full-page ad that took the place of the front page.