Thursday, February 16, 2012

Journalistic Integrity


I have always heard that I need to be proud of where I came from. No matter what has happened in your life home is always going to be home. For me, that place would be the small community of El Dorado Springs, MO. I was raised in this little retirement town. I remember having the lock ins in middle school, the high school dances, and driving 20 minutes so we could actually have something to do. We had to make our own fun. I was proud to call that place home until today, thanks to El Dorado Springs' newspaper, The Sun.

Little over a week ago, tragedy struck my little home town. A 15 year old male passed away due to injuries from a wreck. Gravel is not the easiest surface to drive on and it is easy to lose control of your vehicle. No one is to blame for any of this. God was ready to bring this young man home so he can play football in the heavens. It is never easy when a loss occurs and especially when it's someone so young. I can not imagine the hurt and pain his friends and his family are feeling at this time. My condolence go out to the Barger family. Keep doing what you do for the community and don't let him get to you.

However, I do know one thing you do not use the word “snuffed” about - a child that has died. I am not a journalist. I do however, have more Journalistic integrity in my little finger than the owner of The Sun Newspaper has in his whole body. Why would you put up with such nonsense? A young man's family, his friends and the community are grieving over the loss of someone that should have never been taken from this world. It's sad that you are using a publication this same community depends upon for their news to your own personal gain. Mr. Long ( I use the word mister loosely) you sell nothing but a $1.50 tabloid. You do not care about the people of El Dorado Springs or the community of El Dorado Springs. You only care about self gain and putting money in your pocket. That is not what a JOURNALIST is supposed to do. You are to report the truth with cold hard facts. Not your personal opinion.

This week in your Rock Wall column, you chose to print this little factoid:
“I don’t understand the attraction for High School students to drive on country roads after school. After the events of last week, I have one suggestion: stop it.”

El Dorado is a town of less than 4000 people, the whole area is pretty much county and rural roads. If I am not mistaken you live on a dirt road yourself. How would you have felt if either one of your kids would have been in his shoes? Would you still be saying the same thing? No. You would be calling foul and screaming to the high heavens. I think maybe you should walk a mile in someone's shoes who lost someone this way and see how it feels. Neither one of those boys were on anything or drinking anything. This was a plain and simple tragedy.

I think the only way you will be able to get to this man to think of the feelings of others and the best interest of the community he serves before he goes to press is to boycott The Sun. No one ever again should give this man a dollar until he learns that stirring the pot with sensational news and exploitation isn't news. I may only visit El Dorado Springs now, but it will always be my home and I will never purchase The Sun again. I hope that you will join me. We can't let the people we love and care about be destroyed by a joke of a writer. Real stories are out there to find.

Mr. Long, you have made a joke, not only out of yourself but of the print you happen to call a newspaper. I would love for you to write an article about the dangers of drunk driving, or are we going to file that away in the never happened column as well. The Sun will always be a joke until someone who actually CARES about that community and it's people take it over.


Richard Pruitt

16 comments:

Pieces said...

I agree with you on some points here. Mr. Long was definitely wrong to print that. Most of us grew up on dirt roads around there and that is what there is to do for fun. So, even the safest drivers get carried away on a dirt road and it can lead to tragedy. To write that at this time and considering what the Barger family is going through...SHAME on Mr. Long. How can you do that to that family right now!?!

A.E. said...

Bravo.

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget that Mr. Longs very own daughter was responsible for a very tragic accident herself, and it was on a rural, but paved road!

Anonymous said...

Well said!

Anonymous said...

Mr Long has long profited off of sensationalizm and many timea at the expense of others. He is in my opinion a weasel who must have forgotton that his own daughter was responsible for the deaths of two innocent people several years ago though her negligence and carelessness. A life was not "snuffed" out as Mr Long put it, a young man was taken away from his family and friends for reasons we will never know. I agree that Mr Longs newspaper should be shut down not only for this latest irresponsible and hurtful comments but for the sake of all those he has hurt , past and present.

Anonymous said...

I am not a member of the family who was struck by this terrible tragedy, nor am I a member of Mr. Longs family, but I do have an observation. The term "snuffed out" was used by the older generations when someone young lost their life suddenly and in a tragic way such as an accident etc. I heard that term used by my parents and grandparents and many other people when I was growing up, and in no way was it used in a negative manner. It seems as though the younger generation perceives it as something different than what it used to mean.

Richard Isaak said...

Then Definition of the term Snuffed out:
1.snuff out - put an end to; kill
2.snuff out - put out, as of fires, flames

It was a poor choice of words.

Anonymous said...

Its a poor choice of a newspaper

Richard Isaak said...

That is also very very true.

David Meyer said...

Such a sad story and an even. I also believe The Sun newspaper should be run out of town, It's not the only paper in the county anymore and his type of "journalism" goes against any credible newspaper would publish. Its very sad that a family has to be put through this. I took some journalism classes in college and his newspaper is nothing BUT his own soapbox to put people down , especially those he disagrees with. I agree the way to silence this cancer in our community is to stop buying his newspaper and DO NOT patronize his advertisers. I have noticed one thing over the years and that is the majority of his advertisers are not even local. Mr and Mrs Long your reign of intimidation and fear will end. Speak up ELDORADO and show them the power of the people. Finally to the Barger family , my condolences to you and your family in this difficult time. Tanner will not be forgotten and he will certainly be missed.

L said...

I believe that this is a very tragic thing... No one asked Mr. Long for his opinion and I do agree that the SUN should be run out of buisiness.. Do PEOPLE not think about what they are saying or Writing for that matter!!! Boycott the Sun

Anonymous said...

KUDOS Mr Pruitt, however, I am sure the Longs are already looking you up on case.net to see what they can dig up to discredit you. That is their style.

D. Evans said...

For years the
longs have went after anyone in this community that did not bow down to them. School boards, city councils, Sac Oasage Electric, Ambulance boards, Hospital boards, anyone that crossed him he made a personal crusade withe his slander and m
name calling. He has went after candidates for boards right before an election. Who could forget what he did when Rick Watson ran for prosecutor ? How bout Mr Koetting the former school Superintendent ? Look what he recently done to Mr John Wilson. How about a couple years ago when the NW Vernon County School District tried to pass a tax increase ? One week before the election he ran a story (I use that term loosely) to help the good ol boys defeat the increase. He is BIASED in his reporting and when he does act like he is trying to get both sides of the story he convieneantly mis-quotes people. This man is an embarassesment to our community. How many people know that he is DIRECTLY behind the loss of 17 jobs in our community. These were people that had ties to our town, they were raised here , went to school here, paid taxes here and more importantly SAVED lives here. I am talking about the people that worked for St John's Ambulance. Look at the last 5 or 6 years of his newspapers and you will see the hatchet job he did on them. We lost our Hometown Heros to a bunch of strangers. Yes this man has got to be stopped, he has hurt enough people in our town. Its time to shut him down!! I will never move back to ELDORADO.

Anonymous said...

He had family that worked on the St. John's Ambulance that lost their job too. He truly cares about no one but himself. I never understood why people give him so much power. He is a very deceitful man and everyone who backs him up needs to open their eyes and stop enabling him.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the little community that I grew up in, we so proudly called Eldo, should place a headstone on the gawd awefull attempt to renovate downtown?
Then list the achievemnts of the Sun Newspaper:
The distruction of many personal and professional lives and families. The loss of jobs that would drive any buisness owner crazy, but we can rob Mrs Sunderworth of Millions of dollars... PLEASE ! The continued demise of Concord Baptist Church and other Baptist churches in the area, by attacking , one by one, solid and strong members of those churches. Who would blame any person for not attending church with this behavior?
And the condemnation of a child's death when his own child murdered. Lastly, how important is it that Kimbel sits on every board and has her nose into every organization? How important is it we continue to hide behind the First Admendment for our own self promotion? Next time you renew your subscription, or pick up the altest edition, ask yourself: How important is it?

Anonymous said...

I am so lazy sometimes, though i have been reading your blog for sometime now I have not made a comment til now, just wanted to say im loving it!