If you don’t trust the media, you’d better start doing your own homework

A few weeks ago, I attended a Board of Adjustments meeting in the Calhoun County Courthouse basement. These meetings are infrequent, scheduled only when someone wants a zoning variance or thinks their building permit shouldn’t have been denied. Rarely, if ever, is anyone from the public there, aside from me.

But at this particular meeting, some women were there, just to see what was happening. They were tired, they said, of hearing about a situation in their neighborhood secondhand.

I, of course, smiled and told them they can always just pick up a copy of The Graphic-Advocate and they should get a pretty straightforward accounting of whatever transpired at such public meetings. But I was so happy to see some members of the public expressing an interest in what was happening in their neighborhood. It’s hard to take the time to attend such meetings, and so often, we all just decide it’s easier to rely on rumors and hearsay (and the occasional media report, if the event rises to a level that catches a reporter’s attention).

I don’t usually have such happy reports about citizens taking an interest in governance. I was at another meeting last week, when the conversation turned to the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017. This is the U.S. Senate’s attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, perhaps better known as Obamacare. 

Read more in the July 5 edition.