(Reposted wholly from RightMi.Com)
Reporting can sometimes be more of a dance than simply presenting the facts.
Capitol Confidential has become a powerhouse of Michigan government and policy reporting. Since its inception in 2010 it has blossomed into a respected source of information and insight. And its writing is now being recognized for that growth.
In typical ‘main stream media,’ there are natural limiters to obtaining the truth, or at least properly reporting it. Be it an advertiser’s objection to something once written, or a source of information who might have been embarrassed by a writer’s depth of coverage, there are conditions which can prevent a full telling of events; even if the tale of those events is comprise of “Just the facts ma’am.”
We might be inclined to opine from these pages, but more often there is a collection of facts and history woven into our stories. If one looks through RightMi.com, it might be hard to find advertising, because we can equally offend all comers. Not that a few bucks wouldn’t help, but enjoying our content and putting the neck out to support what is an informative opinion site are two different options.
And one involves risk.
Freedom from the threat of professional or financial retribution is something few journalists can enjoy. Cap Con’s Anne Schieber explains:
“The last thing you want is to bite the hand that feeds you. A good example is crime. Crime stories are easy and compelling filler, but reporters are at the mercy of law enforcement for much of the information. Pity the reporter who writes a critical story — you can kiss those call-backs goodbye. It was true for most sources of news, especially politicians. They fed you stories and you paid them back with the benefit of the doubt.”
Think of the media sycophants who have the greatest access to the president, consider what they publish, and you get it.
CapCon is doing the media a favor however. By breaking the news no one else wants to touch, it gives the MSM a place to point fingers when asked why something was exposed. From the same article:
““We’re breaking stories that the traditional media is being forced to follow, and we’re investigating issues that are important to taxpayers across Michigan,” said CapCon Managing Editor Manny Lopez. “Our stories are important and readers appreciate what we’re doing.”
And as the tag line for the X-files read; “The truth is out there.”
Indeed it is. As an personal example, I could point to number of stories broken by bloggers that had to be picked up by main stream sources. Of course some, including one of my own, have been squashed for advertising dollar reasons.
In that case, it was the every ten minute “Picken’s Plan” advertisements that pumped millions into the coffers of the alphabet networks. Even Fox news was enjoying the windfall of CLNE money, and subsequently put Michelle Malkin’s discussion of it on ice; openly shushing her on a live spot and forcing her to change the subject.
Believe you me, I remember that day well.
Freedom from the restrictions on truth is the best way, and frankly, may be the only way to correct the problems we face as Michiganians and Americans. A powerful truth telling machine is needed.
Troubling of course, is the tendency for those who wish to obscure the truth to denigrate such outlets as the Mackinac Center, and CapCon. As governor, Jennifer Granholm missed no opportunity in the radio interviews I heard to paint the MC as an ideological front.
The truth is not ideological however.
And it is fortunate that the CapCon has been able to receive the accolades of its ‘main stream’ peers, and the recognition of its value in opening news options where they might have been limited before. Scheiber ends the piece with
All of this makes CapCon’s recognition by the Detroit chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists so momentous. These were awarded “by outside judges who are looking at quality of journalism, not where it came from,” as the Mackinac Center’s Marketing and Communications Team Leader Dan Armstrong put it. And this came on the heels of two awards CapCon received from the Michigan Press Association last year.
At the SPJ’s “Excellence in Journalism” dinner in April, I was honored with three other members of the CapCon staff. Jarrett Skorup won second place in the “Consumer/ Watchdog” category for his stories on corporate welfare, asset forfeiture laws and government waste. Jack Spencer was recognized for his coverage of lawmakers trying to define for the purposes of regulation what a journalist is. Tom Gantert won third place for his coverage of unions. Judges called his work: “strong, persistent reporting. Great series of stories on an issue that the reporter makes clear…tough dogged work.”
The judges honored my work on a series in print and video on tax assessor attempts to invade private property. The reports led to the introduction of two bills in the Legislature, something that might not have happened had I not had the time and support for such an investigation.
How could we not be happy for the proper recognition being given to these outstanding writers who are free of the shackles that bind a commercial enterprise?
Indeed, how could we not be delighted to have the Mackinac Center as an agency of truth in an era of such deception? Where might Michigan policy go if unchecked by a truly uninhibited free press?
If not for timely and informative reporting in those areas previously considered ‘uncomfortable,’ or even ‘taboo’ by conventional media, this state would be in a very different condition.
Michigan is a better place because of The MC and CapCon.
And it is an honor to say so.