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An Open Letter to New Hartford Plus, The New Hartford Beacon and their Readers

by on March 20, 2012

“Members of the Society of Professional Journalists believe that public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy. The duty of the journalist is to further those ends by seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues. Conscientious journalists from all media and specialties strive to serve the public with thoroughness and honesty. Professional integrity is the cornerstone of a journalist’s credibility.” ~excerpted from the Preamble to the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics

Recently, New Hartford Plus referred to the New Hartford Beacon in a post. That post accused the Beacon of removing a post about a confrontation with an elderly woman in a park. As a “friend” of New Hartford Plus on Facebook, I commented that the post was not taken down, and told New Hartford Plus that there was no confrontation, only a child scared by an unleashed dog and a resident discussing the rules with another resident. I know of the situation personally, because the writer is my husband. As the woman approached him to gather her unleashed dog, which had scared my 3-year old son, the interaction occurred.

New Hartford Plus removed my comment the next morning. I then wrote,” Why was my comment removed? I respectfully request that your site starts honoring the principle of truth. New Hartford Beacon has not removed any post. In the post you referred to, a woman’s unleashed dog scared a child. There was no confrontation. It was a simple discussion of rules. Your readers deserve the truth.” New Hartford Plus has removed my ability to post on their page in Facebook, and when I search for the page and pull it up, I have no ability to comment. I have been blocked.

I’m puzzled. Why would my post be removed? It was polite, referred to facts that could easily and quickly be verified by a quick visit to the Beacon, and provided valuable information for New Hartford Plus and its readers. Why not correct the error? This is not the first time that New Hartford Plus has refused to print one of my comments, nor is it the first time that they have removed a Facebook comment of mine, it is only the most recent, and apparently the last. I have many credible sources that report the same issue; they refuse to print comments that disagree with positions of New Hartford Plus.

Why would a self-described “independent, responsible news source” make such a blatant attempt to cover up and manipulate the truth? Truth in media is a big deal to me. I have written to New Hartford Plus in the past asking for coverage that was less editorial and more balanced. They told me that it was obviously something that I felt passionate about and that I should keep up the fight. In an effort to do just that, I’m hoping to call some attention to this situation.

I appreciate New Hartford Plus’s coverage of such a wide area of town events. Truly, their energy and willingness to spend so much of their time to cover these events could be such an asset to our town. I wish that I could trust them to provide a report that is accurate and unbiased. How could one ever honestly hope to make any decision regarding town issues if those disseminating information attempt to restrict the release of opinions that differ from theirs, and neglect to correct mistakes, even after they are made aware of the facts?

I think for myself, and I value access to information that portrays an accurate depiction of any given issue. I believe our town deserves better.

I’m not a fan of controversy. It is something that I typically avoid. In the midst of my effort to help secure a practice spot for my football-loving son, I was reminded that there was town controversy over the purchase of both Brodie Park and Brown’s Corner. As a child who grew up in this town during the controversy, but has little recollection of it, I’d like to thank all of the people that supported the acquisition and development of both properties despite the controversy, and spent so much time and effort building the youth sports programs that I once enjoyed, and that my children currently enjoy.

Similarly, the founders of our football program have improved our town. I know that in the long run, football will have a practice home somewhere, and contrary to the assertion of some, that’s all we want. While this discussion continues over our ability to remain at Brodie South — the only available field that can accommodate our four football teams and four cheer squads until that future field is complete — I publicly request that New Hartford Plus will make an increased effort at allowing all sides to be heard.

Sincerely,

Krista Maloney

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From → Youth Sports

18 Comments
  1. New Hartford Held Hostage permalink

    vox populi

  2. Jim Fitzgerald permalink

    Nice letter Krista. Points are spot on.

    • Krista Maloney permalink

      Thank you for taking the time to comment Jim. I appreciate the support.

  3. Lori Roth permalink

    Very well said Krista- I am also blocked as is my husband, I guess it is because of our affiliation with football and our knowledge of the actual FACTS of the controversy. I am saddened that the term “journalism” has been attributed to their BLOG.

    Food for thought- Ms Moore is now an elected official of this town heading a website who’s existence is paid for by advertisers who might have something to gain on the issues that she “reports about’- that should not be allowed.

    • Krista Maloney permalink

      Thank you Lori. I spent some time last fall writing letters to Torrington Savings Bank, Northwest Community Bank, The Beekley Library and others to tell them that I was disappointed that they would provide financial support to a blog which so willfully distorted the issues, published inaccuracies and continually suppressed factual information presented to them that coincided with their agenda. I asked that they stop their support of New Hartford Plus, because as members of our community, they should not be involved in providing support for an outlet which willfully manipulates it’s readers and in doing so, increases community strife. I now do my banking in Canton, and have stopped contributing to fundraising efforts for our esteemed library, simply because I will not support organizations that would use my money to support to an outlet that is so dishonest and hurtful to our community and my children. All continue to support New Hartford Plus, but if you are interested in voicing your disappointment, maybe together, we could make a difference. The football controversy has really allowed me to see the danger agenda-laden blog writers (who present themselves as responsible news sources) present to a community. Consider the bigger picture. What power could they exert on future town issues? How about a future election? Responsible townspeople who go to this blog- self proclaimed responsible news source- are fed an agenda, and will frequently take stances that they honestly believe are based on facts. This is the real danger that I’m trying to expose. I consider it my public service. 🙂

  4. Alesia Kennerson permalink

    This has been going on since she started her blog. Remember when she blasted Bruce Gresczyk, stating that there was still an ongoing investigation (not true)? She posted that on the eve of election day 2009. She stopped all political comments after that because she didn’t want to influence the election.

    While we’re on that subject, where are all the posts of the good things that Dan Jerram has been doing for this town? Those of you who are paying attention know that Dan has made much progress since the previous First Selectman was voted out. Many, many projects have been completed, and the ideas keep coming. All done while being cognizant of the tax base, and the economy that we have been living in. People reading her blog would think that Dan does nothing but fight for football.

    This is a lopsided website, and it does not reflect reality.

    • Lori Roth permalink

      Agreed. Dan jerram has really done a fantastic job- Browns Corner is complete with drainage PAID FOR by the sports programs that use the field. The field house is underway, which the rec commission allowed to go into disrepair and has great ideas for the growth of this town.

  5. Jim Fitzgerald permalink

    Hi Krista,

    It is very nice to have this open forum for communication and accurate information. But, I want to be sure there is full disclosure from my end as well. I too am an elected official in town and in year five of a six-year term as a Board of Finance member. Additionally, I am the Chairman of the New Hartford Republican Town Committee…the Party that has the most fun! Best regards and thanks for allowing me to post. Jim Fitzgerald

    • Krista Maloney permalink

      Hi Jim,
      Thanks for the disclosure, but I hope there was no feeling of obligation to do so. I appreciate your taking time to comment, and would appreciate your taking the time to comment even if you disagreed with every word that I said. Thanks for the time that you put in to keep our town running smoothly & responsibly. As a non-stop mother of 3 young kids with a full time job- and a few part time jobs, I appreciate the time commitment & willingness of all town officials to get involved. Now that we’ve met, any chance you might find a little hidden cash, finance a field & get us out of this Brodie South controversy? Haha. 🙂

      Krista

      • Alesia Kennerson permalink

        Krista, Dan and I have added capital money (25,000.00) to our capital budget to start expanding the field behind Ann Antolini School. Even if the Board of Finance asks us to cut more from our proposed capital projects, that is one area that Dan and I are in agreement on that should not be cut. We are committed to moving that project forward.

      • Jim Fitzgerald permalink

        Hey there…I am all for Brodie South as a nice sports complex for football and soccer. With some paving, nice stripes for parking, tower lights, a sound system, score board, grandstands and a food stand, you would have one heck of a community recreation sports center! Sounds too good to be true though…
        Best regards, Jim

      • Lori Roth permalink

        I vote for a zoo! Figure if I throw tht out there, then football practice with 20 hours of lights per year might seem like nothing 🙂

      • Krista Maloney permalink

        Thanks Alesia. I know you & Dan have been working hard to find a responsible solution to this issue. I was shocked at the recent poorly thought out actions and punitive comments by the Rec Commission, and initially proposed having our son play for another town’s program until this blew over. That proposal went over like a lead balloon in our house. My understanding that you and Dan are working toward a solution, has weighed strongly on my decision to have him continue to play for our town, with his friends & our neighbors. Thanks again.

  6. Jim,

    Everyone is welcome. I (Sharon) will not block people; will let everyone speak their mind. It doesn’t matter what their opinion is. As long as people are respectful, they will be heard. I reserve the right to edit for profanity and the like, but I don’t think it’s fair to throw out opinions and shut everyone else out, like that other publication.

    This is the post-retirement project, started a couple of months before retirement, which is why it’s kind of slow.

    Expect an explosion in June.

    Thanks!

  7. Alesia & Lori – Dan asked if I wanted an interview. I told him I’d take a rain check. I will be covering those great things that have been done during his time as 1st Selectman, soon. I retire end of May and plan to set that up. 🙂

  8. fahu23 permalink

    Wow Lori,

    I hadn’t thought of that; only 20 hours of lights per year.

    • Lori Roth permalink

      Maybe I was a little shy on the hours- 3 days a week- in October (we use the lights for about the last hour of practice)- so that is about 15 hours- then 2 weeks in November at 6 hours /week- another 12 hours-

      27 hours of inconvenience out of 8,760 hours in a year.- puts it into perspective doesnt it?

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