Appreciating Professional Journalism For What It Is – And Does

We are living in extraordinary times. While Dan Gilbert, Pete Karmanos and others in the business community continue to provide investment and momentum for development, commerce, downtown living and increased tax revenue in the city, Detroit’s civic leadership continues to struggle. This morning, the Editorial Page Editors of both dailies, Nolan Finley and Stephen Henderson – addressed the issue head on with necessary candor.

“Swallow your pride — or choke on it,” writes the Detroit Free Press’s Henderson. “That’s what Detroit is down to in its operatic arc of financial tragedy: a final choice between acceptance of reality and suicidal defiance. The city’s elected officials can let their rogue corporation counsel…attempt to undo the consent agreement with the state to better manage Detroit’s finances. Or they can act like grown-ups and accept, with just a modicum of humility, that it is their responsibility to determine Detroit’s fate…”

Opines Finley of the Detroit News: “Somewhere in the city there may be someone capable of running Detroit, but it’s not the bunch occupying City Hall. [Governor] Snyder tried a shared-power arrangement in deference to the city’s pleas to respect local control. Now the governor can see what local control looks like in Detroit. Snyder should appoint an emergency manager and put an end to this train wreck before it takes down the rest of the state.”

Anytime anyone questions the power of the press and importance of the media (including oft-maligned print), I point to columns like this or, similarly, Pulitzer Prize winning pieces that bring public corruption such as Kwame Kilpatrick’s wrongdoings to light. Outstanding journalism cannot be underestimated and should not go unappreciated as it serves as an important seeker of truth and catalyst for positive change.