Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Defending a Roanoke Times Reporter

I bet you have never read a headline like that anywhere.
The Roanoke Times article today written by Mason Adams was very well written and accurate. However, reporters do not and let me emphasize DO NOT write their headlines. The reporter writes his story and their editor attaches the headline. So Mason Adams’ well written story was brutalized by a FALSE headline. Nothing in Mason’s story eluded toName tied to course’s fate”. It is not a quote. It was not even brought up by anyone in the article. The editor just pulled it out of his ahhh … bucket of headline grabbing personal opinion bunk. The “course’s fate” stands on it’s own. The name change would have been an honor.
The sad thing is people read the headlines and draw their conclusion from a headline without reading the story. A headline sets the tone for an entire article. I asked for a retraction of the headline as it was a false statement. As anyone who has been following the Countryside property issue knows our community has spent the last 2 years in opposition to development of this treasured city asset. Actually I have not met one citizen who favors developing the property.
You don’t suppose it was the same editor that wrote the editorial accusing the Countryside neighborhood of “bellyaching” do you? There is supposed to be a wall between the editorial staff and the news staff. I am guessing it was a coincidence that Shanna Flowers wrote about the same topic on the same day.
City Council is under the impression that the golf course is losing money. This is not true. Show us the figures. Show us the number of rounds of play. Try to get a tee time on the weekends. Meadowbrook is under orders from City Administration to not disclose any of this information publicly. This begs the question where did Mr. Fitzpatrick get the information that the course was losing money when Meadowbrook themselves in a letter to City Administration stated “Countryside is one of their most profitable golf courses”. Meadowbook continued by saying “the golf course would create an excellent source of revenue for the City”. I am posting below the 2006 budget submitted by Meadowbrook to City management. This is a link to my previous posts regarding documents.
CLICK HERE for to see the letter from Ed Hall on how to “convince” the owner’s of Countryside Golf Course to sell by advising the airport commission to NOT renew the lease of the runway protection zone property used for fairways.
CLICK HERE to see the 2006 budget and profit submitted to City management by Meadowbrook showing a $240,000 profit (adding back the $40,000 real estate tax that they do not have to pay since the City owns it now).
CLICK HERE to see the Feasibility Study in 2003 and the negatives for developing the property.
Read the Planning Commission agenda for Thursday, July 19th, item “J”. Mr. Fitzpatrick wants to dip into the “name change” well too …. so I guess the headline should read “Name tied to Special Events Center’s fate“.
City Planning Commission Agenda Item “J”:
Discussion of the referral by City Council to name Countryside Golf Course after the late Roy Stanley Miller and to name the Roanoke Civic Center Special Events Center after the Honorable Linwood Holton and the late Honorable Elbert Lee Trinkle, former Virginia Governors from Roanoke.
Not holding my breath for a retraction of the headline.

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Commentary


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Ms. Elenaeous

July 18th, 2007 at 12:41 PM    

You are absolutely right, reporters have nothing to do with the headlines, nor photo captions, although they usually get the grief because of them. As a freelancer I’ve been the victim of HUH? headlines and HUH? editing too many times to mention, causing me to scratch my head in wonder if the editors even read the piece. Good luck with your crusade!


July 18th, 2007 at 1:42 PM    

Thank you Ms. Elenaeous in confirming this and maybe the public will be more understanding to reporters and journalists.

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