Editorial: The Source Grips Journalistic Principles in Defense of Democracy and Order

 

That the “announcement” of the “retirement” of Police Commissioner Trevor Velinor at the end of his contract on June 30 did not come from Government House speaks to the complete lack of leadership at the top.

The Source had known for months it was likely Velinor would be leaving at the end of June. When we learned immediately after Friday’s Cabinet meeting that the rumors were true, instead of “rushing” to “post” unofficial information, we awaited a press release, and meanwhile reached out to a Government House spokesman, who never called back.

There were several people, “not authorized to speak on behalf of the government,” who we might have used in a story. But this particular story needed to come with the official spin.

We will never know the truth about the closed-door dealings that lead to Velinor’s departure, and the Source has always tried to be respectful of official spin, because anything else is destructive, pointless rumor-mongering – and doesn’t matter.

The difference between journalism, which is the cornerstone of democracy, and chaos, which is undermining it at all levels in our country, is two words that follow a comma in a story: , according to.

The rumors, melee and the way in which this administration undermines our democracy is with its use of returning phone calls selectively and stonewalling responsible journalists and ignoring repeated requests, let us say that again, repeated requests for public information.

Obfuscation works for those who are either incompetent or corrupt, or both.

Our communities are awash with violence, fear, lawlessness and cynicism.

The top law enforcement official will be leaving his post in 18 days. The trustworthy media is poised to be the channel for reliable information flowing from our government to allay the legitimate concerns of the community.

When the top government official does not have the wherewithal to effectively guide and control his own message to his constituents, he becomes part of the chaos.

The Source can say “unofficially,” Commissioner Velinor will no longer be at his post effective July 1.

We await official word on who will replace him.