BROOK: Local press more essential than ‘mega media’

Special to The TelegraphJuly 16, 2014 

Thanks to the Telegraph for publishing many of my letters to the editor over the years about my thoughts and concerns regarding important community issues.

I am privileged to have met many individuals who I did not previously know as the result of published letters. As we would introduce each other, there would be that familiar double take, followed by, “so, you are him.” Even those who might have disagreed with my letters were gracious and kind. As a result, I have had communications with some who disagreed with my thoughts and even developed a special friendship with one who always said east when I said west. We agree to disagree without being disagreeable.

I appreciate your forbearance when I chastised your efforts and for my infrequent opinion of perceived shortcomings.

The local newspaper fills an important part of the fabric of our nation which makes us, as a country, so unique and successful. The press is the bulwark of what remains of the freedom of the press, providing accurate news to the local communities on the very front line of events that cause us to be united or divided.

The mega press, as I call them, The New York Times, Washington Post and TV news such as Fox, CNN, MSNBC, etc., are the Hollywood press who have squandered their heritage by aligning themselves with special interest groups/political parties, political correctness of the left or right. Some laugh at the politicians’ many efforts while always looking toward the next election as evidenced by their votes and actions. Whereas this part of the Hollywood press tries to endear themselves toward gaining and maintaining access to the powerful or the next powerful, oftentimes making/remaking/slanting the news instead of reporting the news.

Your importance toward the well being of our community cannot be overstated as you write about events and investigate governmental entities that elected leaders and movers and shakers oftentimes would prefer opaqueness as you search for governmental transparency and illuminate the darkness behind some questionable decisions and actions. Mistakes by any of us do not have to be all bad if illumination helps make better decisions in the future.

I dislike and do not agree with some phrases such as “no good deed goes unpunished,” as you might so often find yourself with immense pressure being brought forward from time to time about what had been published.

I find that I have sorely neglected finishing other writings as I have researched and written so many letters to The Telegraph and other papers.

My first book took 20 years, the second, five years and with 10-plus books and short stories at various stages of completion, time is not on my side. Decisive action is needed to address this neglect so this will be my swan song.

Please keep your shoulder to the wheel of excellent journalism. I look forward to continuing to read The Telegraph and letters to the editor in the future, other writings tempering my withdrawal pains.

Arthur D. Brook is a resident of Macon.

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