The most important role of a newspaper is to keep citizens informed about the actions of their local, state and federal government officials.
While the country’s attention is focused on the presidential race, crucial decisions affecting the lives of your readers are being made every day by locally elected representatives.
You have a duty to your readers and the community to publicize and draw attention to the decisions these officials are making on our behalf. For example, in recent days the CDT has relied on wire services to report that the Pennsylvania General Assembly is currently in the process of voting on a law that would severely restrict a woman’s constitutional right to a medical abortion.
Where do our local state representatives stand on this important issue? Why aren’t they being asked to explain their position? What are the ramifications for women living in Centre County if this law is passed? Why isn’t this issue on the front page of the paper?
The CDT’s poor coverage of our elected officials is not limited to this issue. Rarely does the CDT report how our state legislators vote on any issue, much less ask them to defend and explain their votes.
One would hope that the CDT would aspire to a higher calling, one that facilitates democratic deliberation and public accountability.
Here’s an idea: provide quality, in-depth coverage of issues and then host a monthly public forum where our elected officials have to hear from and answer to the citizens they represent.