Agenda government reporting in New Smyrna Beach nothing more than drivel

NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- How do we know the news we read in newspapers are real? I've taken a few days to stand in the background to watch and observe the reporting on this Delta Queen situation and it seems most, if not all of the news, comes out of government meetings, city commission meetings to be precise. A reporter sits and listens to what is presented, what is spoken in a three-hour meeting involving those with vested interests. The next morning the newspaper is picked up from the driveway with a story. The story begins and ends with the meeting. That is agenda government reporting.

It may be factual in terms of what is said and presented in the meeting hall, but what about what isn't presented? What about what isn't said? And why all the government speak? What the heck is an RFP anyway. Oh, I know: It stands for "requests for proposals." But what the heck does that mean? A lot of what government does is convoluted and the timing of its action brings more questions than answers.

If Wayne Heller is pushing his agenda on one side then who is pushing it on the other side? The Southeast Volusia Chamber of Commerce? And why are its operatives suddenly so quiet?

You are not going to get these answers in traditional print media, especially when they are fed a steady diet of taxpayer money. You're going to get a lot of PR spin. When you cover government from the meeting hall, you are going to get agenda reporting. A controlled environment with a limited time frame; enough for a cheap headline, a couple of factoids, quotes and plenty of drivel.

 

 

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Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet newspaper serving the Daytona Beach-New Smyrna Beach / Sanford-Orlando metropolitan region via HeadlineSurfer.com. Florida's first around-the-clock newspaper was launched April 7, 2008, in New Smyrna Beach, initially as NSBNews.net and VolusiaNews.net. Headline Surfer is a registered trademark of NSB News LLC. Headline Surfer® Publisher Henry Frederick, is recognized as one of Florida's top award-winning cops & courts reporters, who has received more awards for such coverage than any other reporter working in Central Florida. He's the top journalist in the Florida Press Club two years running with seven journalism awards for 15 breaking news and investigative stories, three blogs and top internet site. He's the only reporter to win awards for coverage of the Trayvon Martin slaying as well as the subsequent George Zimmerman murder trial acquittal in Sanford. He's also won state, regional and national journalism awards for his coverage of cops and courts fear 8 1/2 years at the Daytona Beach News-Journal, where he witnessed and reported on the execution of serial killer Aileen Wuornos and covered the civil trial brought by NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt's widow to keep his autopsy files sealed. Before that before he covered cops & courts for Gannett Suburban Newspapers / The Journal News in Westchester and Rockland counties in New York, where he won a highly-coveted Associated Press Award for breaking news. Before launching the 24/7 internet newspaper in 2008, he was an award-winning city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette, in his native Massachusetts for two years, winning a national investigative award on municipal corruption. The first of Frederick's three books, for which he has secured publishing rights, is called "Creepy Ass Cracker" (840 pages, Xlibris), which will hit bookstores in September. His second book, "Wrestling ReWind," is expected to be published in January 2015. The third book is not yet titled.
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