The news media is going through fundamental changes on how the news is delivered every day. Most news professionals complain about how their profession has been decimated by the Internet. Others complain bitterly about the proliferation of citizen journalists and how they lower the standard for news delivery.
KVIA is showing us today how the “professionals” are the reason that individuals are increasingly relying on the Internet to stay informed. Yesterday’s late report on the firefighter’s contract negotiations by Andrew Polk contains a fundamental error that distorts the firefighter issue for the voters.
In the report “Breakthrough in firefighter negotiations with city,” Polk wrote “the only recourse before this was placing the issues on the May 9 ballot: drug testing, insurance premium increases and pay.” Polk adds that the “city’s new proposal would keep the pay increases at 1.25%, take drug testing off the table for now, and offer a ‘wellness program’ that would more than cover the insurance increase facing firefighters.”
The drug-testing wording, used by Andrew Polk, leaves the impression that the firefighters are against drug testing within their ranks. That is not the case. The firefighters are already drug tested and can be terminated as a result of the drug testing. I realize that this distortion emanated from the city earlier last week.
However, anyone that followed the actual exchange at city hall yesterday would have noted that it was clarified that drug testing was not an issue in the collective bargaining.
The lack of accuracy is not only wrong but it distorts the public perception about the issue. Voters who read the article are left with the impression that the firefighters do not want drug testing and that it is “off the table for now.”
The fact is that drug testing is not an issue and firefighters are currently subject to drug testing and disciplinary actions based on them. KVIA needs to correct the record and apologize for the public distortion.