The Founding Fathers gave the free press the protection it must have to bare the secrets of government and inform the people.--Hugo Black
The following was sent to JC Lowe and Steve Marks on July 1st, 2016:
We are coming upon the anniversary of this nation’s independence. It is the time to rejoice in the freedoms we have in the US that other countries do not have. As a part of that, the freedom of the press is imperative. It is the mechanism to maintain the republic. If government is transparent to the press, democracy breathes. The less transparent government becomes, the more democracy loses its ground. Power of the press keeps government on their toes. This is one of the most important components in American society. In order to preserve the integrity of that, no person should control the truth.
SBGI’s mission statement reflects that necessity:
We produce compelling, engaging, informative newscasts. Our stations hold public officials accountable, asking the tough questions that our viewers would ask. Our newscasts have stories that make a difference. The key to our success is content choices. Our goal is simple: We alert, protect and empower our audience on all platforms.
WEAR Channel 3, Pensacola, a Sinclair Broadcasting station, under the oversight of JC Lowe, has been strong armed or entered into a conspiracy with local corruption. The Escambia County Sheriff is currently under investigation by the State Attorney’s Office for misappropriation of LET funds. Sheriff Morgan has quashed the news coverage of this issue. There are no news stories of any of the Sheriff’s questionable activities on WEAR including the bullying of a local little league coach over a campaign sign. That was not covered. Mr. Lowe being “buddies” with Sheriff Morgan has become more important than the mission of Sinclair Broadcasting.
The following are links to articles that are of significance within the community that Sheriff Morgan has strong armed out of the news through WEAR.
local/escambia-county/2016/06/ 21/state-attorneys-office- reviewing-ecso-charity- efforts/86173366/
com/escambia-news/put-it-back- county-overrules-sheriffs- removal-of-rival-campaign- sign/
These are just a few of the articles on these 2 particular events. There are more and yet WEAR has declined to air any story that might show Morgan in a bad light in campaign season. This is a perversion of journalistic integrity. The people of Escambia County are being willfully misled by the misinformation on this candidate’s handling of their money. That really should be considered an attempt to rig the election.
There is a demographic in Pensacola that openly advocates on social media to boycott anything to do with your station. The ripples of this will be felt for years to come and local information is less likely to be the news choice for the local people. If they cannot trust what is being shown as news, not just stories about someone’s cat, why are they taking up space in the area? Locals are going to the look outside the Pensacola market.
Seems this station has either outlived its effectiveness as a point of info for the region. Can this faux pas be corrected? Unfortunately, I believe it is the former. Maybe this is Mr. Lowe’s intent--to make the station irrelevant in order to close it. That would be a hardship within this community, because people want to be able to see Sue Straughn and Bob Solarkski every night, because these people have established trust over the years, but Mr. Lowe is taking their integrity within the community down with it.
Perhaps the mission statement should be re-written to say one of the goals is to undermine WEAR's importance as a news outlet that desecrates the legacy of the anchors within the community? I no longer live in the community but as it is my hometown, I watch the news and keep up with things online and via social media. Mr. Lowe has made Channel 3 irrelevant. Just something to think about.
When the public's right to know is threatened, and when the rights of free speech and free press are at risk, all of the other liberties we hold dear are endangered.
-- Christopher Dodd
Jimmie StaleyCrusader, Blogger, Activist