Report the news. Without curry or favor.

That’s what newspapers are supposed to do. After his first and last horseshit editorial, Highlander writer Mark Arike (editor of the Haliburton Echo thankfully for only 6 days) attempted to define what his Director Bram Lebo told him.[pullquote_right]From The Haliburton Moose: Steve Scally – Haliburton OPP has laid more charges in the thefts from vehicles. As a result of the investigation 26 year-old Michael Wallwork, of Haliburton, has been charged with an additional 10 charges, on top of previous charges, which total 18 criminal offences. [/pullquote_right]

What came out was a disjointed high school screed about why papers in Haliburton do not print the names on police reports.

Do you want to know why the Echo and Times have not printed names for lo’ a decade and more?

Well you don’t have to dig very deep to realize that it has something to do with conflict of interest.

And I won’t name the culprits here. I will just say that if you are an editor in a small town and know some unsavory characters? Who have been up to no good? Who are listed among your friends? Who may be related in some shape or form? Who may be hiding some things? Who have charges pending?

You can do them a favor. By currying favor. Yes you can make a policy that says we do not print names because we don’t have the resources to follow up on the story. The issue being that if the defendants are innocent? They will not incur the same coverage as the alleged perpetrations. Which is horseshit and the Echo and Times know it’s horseshit. Papers out thieves and drunks and burglars and peeping toms. All the time. It’s called journalism.

Newspapers are there as a conscience. It’s no good publishing the names in a police report if the news outlets say to the police: “Oh by the way… we think you’re incompetent. So we will decide what names we name. In fact. We think you are so mindblowingly fucking incompetent that we will make it a policy. We may even put it in our masthead. ‘The Echo thinks the cops are stupid! And we also think they rush to judgement. So? We’ll ignore the Haliburton Highlands Detachment for a decade or two. Or until our friends quit getting themselves into hot water.’ ”

That’s some long fucking masthead… ain’t it?

I can haz a newspaper! I duz not have to know what it iz!

I can haz a newspaper! I duz not have to know what it iz!

Which is horseshit. Without curry or favor. It is what emanates from the north side of a south ambling Angus Bull. A pile. Of Bull.

Naming names. It’s a fairly entrenched governing principle in the news biz. In other words, publishers should have no say regarding editorial content, because publishers also sell ads.

Now if one of their clients involved in some hanky panky? The publisher should not have the final say on whether to print the names. Haliburton Highlander publisher Bram Lebo, when he was acting as Director of Maple Very Low Key Media (extant thankfully for 27 or so days) allowed his newly named editor of the Haliburton Echo to print the following tidy screed, which, no surprise, was both unreadable and noodle-bending at the same time.

Here’s Arike’s lede in his lonely only editorial before Jenn Watt took back the reins from the Lebo- inspired clusterfuck.

The recent string of vehicle break-ins in Haliburton County has several people asking the same question: what are their names?

And by names, they’re referring to the two Haliburton residents who were arrested and charged following a lengthy police investigation. The suspects include a 22-year-old woman and a 26-year-old man.

While their names were published in a press release on the OPP’s web portal (a service designed to get the information to media outlets), we did not print their names in this issue of the Haliburton Echo or on our website. (Mark Arike – ersatz and bizarro former Echo editor)

This little bit of nonsense and the reasoning behind the non-disclosure was approved by the Director Bram Lebo. I can say this because Lebo was no longer the publisher, but the prime catalyst and driver of policy. Yes, that Mr. Lebo, who apparently learned everything he knows about publishing from Cliff Notes and Weakly (sic) Newspaper Publishing for Dummies.

Has Mr. Lebo ever read a CP Style guide? Has he ever written for a real newspaper? You ask him. I know the answer. Mr. Lebo approved of this dalliance into non-disclosure because Mr. Lebo is about as consistent as a pinball machine on permanent tilt.

Here’s another tidbit from the Arike/Lebo editorial department and Errorike’s (sic) editorial.

Why is that? For the past several years, the policy of this paper has been to omit the names of those charged, unless there’s a commitment to follow up on the results of the trial. The powers that be determined it was unfair to print the name(s) of the accused otherwise. (Ed’s note: Powers that be and fluff like this would get you disqualified from any reputable news organization. That would be your exit line stage left.)

Is it vital for the public to know the names of the accused? It’s not like we can take the law into our own hands and punish who we believe to be the perpetrators. Just like everyone else, they too deserve their right to a fair trial. (Ed’s note: And this would put the cap on the firing. This is called a ninth inning bases loaded Casey at the Bat departure. Bonsoir! Good night. Goodbye, Sayonara!) 

Now hopefully Mr. Lebo went through that editorial. If he didn’t? He’s incompetent. If he did? He’s incompetent.

Here’s what a real editor would have done. Exactly what the Moose did. They do real news by the way, Haliburton.

From The Haliburton Moose: Steve Scally – Haliburton OPP has laid more charge in the thefts from vehicles. As a result of the investigation 26 year-old Michael Wallwork, of Haliburton, has been charged with an additional 10 charges, on top of previous charges, which total 18 criminal offences. The charges include: Five counts of Theft under $5000, nine counts of Possession of Property Obtained by Crime Under $5000, two counts of Failing to Comply with Probation Order, Possession of cocaine and Possession of marijuana. The OPP is asking for your assistance in identifying the recovered property. Please contact OPP Detective Constable Backus at 705 286-1431. 

This would have accomplished two really good things. The publish of news without curry or favor.

And the removal of the silly-putty editorial written by Arike and approved by the Director of Operations, Bram Lebo.

Without curry or favor.

Find gav on twitter @terrancegavan