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-Orlando metro area via, launched April 7, 2008, as Florida's first around-the-clock online newspaper. Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most experienced reporters with scores of regional, state & national journalism-industry awards for nearly 100 breaking news & investigative reporting stories in Florida, New York, Massachusetts & Connecticut.
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