Saturday, August 08, 2009

No News is Good News

It's now been several months since the Herald-Leader's open records request to evaluate the spending habits of Superintendent Stu Silberman and the Board of Education. In the wake of the Airport Board scandal, in May and June H-L made open records requests and poured over district expense records.

In the meantime, revelations from H-L of excesses have come forth from the League of Cities, the Lexington Public Library and the Kentucky Association of Counties. Good coverage of bad stuff. Strippers, escorts and lawyers!

But no story has emanated on the Fayette County Schools.

A source told KSN&C that the superintendent put expenses related to a board trip to San Francisco on the district credit card but that board members had reimbursed the district for their shares of the expense - which is pretty standard and totally appropriate. Not much else to talk about - so, no news.

Unless the Herald-Leader tells us otherwise, it would seem that the school system got a good look, and looked good.


Anonymous said...

Well, then, we can expect a complete vindication of Mr. Silberman soon. As it should be. I'm so thankful he is our superintendent.

Richard Day said...

I don't know about "complete" but like you I suspect, there's something inside me that wants the paper to say that they looked and found records to be in order.

But I don't think they work that way. Rather, I think they'd say they looked but there was no story.

Anonymous said...

Objectivity is needed in journalism.

If, indeed, the Herald Leader did file an Open Records Request against Fayette County Schools, they do owe it to their readers to divulge the results of their investigation.

I welcome their report. I'd also like to know, who, besides Silberman carries a district credit card and why.

Richard Day said...

Yes, objectivity is what we count on, along with opinion that is clearly identified that way.

I don't view open records requests as "against" anyone, although I can certainly see how it might feel that way. I tend to think of them as "for" good government.

Perhaps the paper could create a new box, kinda like they do with clarifications, that would include a listing of investigations that produced no news...with the appropriate disclaimers, of course. The paper can't get into the business of assuring the public that all is well just because they didn't find evidence to the contrary.

Anonymous said...

I think an Open Records Request goes with the turf when you are a government official. But I wonder what the H-L would do if they found ireegularities in the school system.

I tend to agree with you that the editorial board seems to be unable to criticize Stu, who still has the support of Lexington's movers and shakers.

How do you think Stu is viewed by most teachers? Do you think they support him?

Richard Day said...

I don't think the news side of H-L has any problem reporting the news. I hear folks complain, but I'm glad they're there.

I don't imagine the editorial folks were any too thrilled with revelations at the League of Cities but the story got printed.

It seems to me that it is the news reporting that drives the editorial content.