What we need is trust

Strengthening ties between the public, the press, and law enforcement

Prepared remarks for the Rocky River Citizen Police Academy
April 16, 2019
Rocky River, Ohio

Mayor Bobst, Chief Stillman, Academy Graduates, Family and Neighbors,

Thank you for the opportunity to speak with you on such a great day for our community.

Your commitment to this program is an investment in and celebration of civic life. You can choose to exercise citizenship in many ways, be it through politics, or faith-based outreach, or philanthropy, or through a multi-week program like this—demystifying police work a little, providing a space for education and discussion about some of the serious challenges our society faces, and more broadly encouraging communication and community.

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The scourge of ‘anonymous sources’

[You can also support this post on Medium. A version of this essay will be featured in a forthcoming book on journalism and baking]

What used to be an exception in journalism seems to have become a norm: affording anonymity to sources offering some unattainable insight, intentionally-hidden fact, or, it seems, juicy gossip.

If-and-when to grant anonymity is one of the more controversial discussions in the journalism realm, and it should be.

A written, broadcast, Tweeted, Instagrammed, or whatever, record of a story or claim needs to carry credibility and provability, lest one be attacked for ‘fake news.’

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