Recently the ACLU of SD presented an informative guest column on 1st Amendment rights;
Freedom of speech, the press, association, assembly, and petition: This set of guarantees, protected by the First Amendment, comprises what we refer to as freedom of expression. It is the foundation of a vibrant democracy, and without it, other fundamental rights would wither away.
That 1st paragraph pretty much sums it up. Notice the mention of ‘the press’. This is important.
The rumor going around is that a local journalist prepared a story about the Sioux Falls School District and the school district became unglued and threatened the entire news organization if they ran the story.
So guess what? No story.
Just like the Title Nine lawsuit, a total shutdown of communications with the public.
What makes this even more distressing is the news organization* allegedly caving after being threatened. The 4th Estate should not cower to these folks, especially local governmonkeys. In fact, I would say it is their duty to cover important public policy stories regardless of the topic or policy.
I have suspected for a very long time certain local government leaders in this community control the media and get stories killed and we might finally have the pudding.
It’s one thing to have closed government with all four branches in Sioux Falls, it’s entirely another thing for our local news to pull a story because they were threatened, and what does this say about the peeps running the school district? Do they have a bullying policy when it comes to the media?
What do you think Bob Woodward would have done in this situation?
Recently a local government public servant (who does not serve on the school board) asked me who forms policy for the school district? The Board or the Administration? I told him I could not answer that question, but my speculation is the administration handles it, shoves it down the board’s throats and if they dissent the Super threatens to quit her around $400K a year job.
Don’t let the FREE cheese sandwich hit your behind on the way out the door.
*I am aware of the name of the alleged news organization, the reporter, and the ‘story’. But unless they choose to run it there is not much I can share. It also has nothing to do with the Title Nine litigation. Ironically, I was told today, as I have been snooping around for more sources, there are multiple stories the District is actively trying to squash.