The Union guilty of unbalanced reporting
I’m concerned about the tone and structure of the article in today’s The Union about the schedule for construction of Mulcahy Field. In only the second paragraph, the very first reason cited in the article for the delays are “the park’s design … which had to be altered after neighbors, concerned about noise and traffic congestion, insisted a barbecue area be eliminated … “
However, deeper in the article it is reported that the source of water for the park has not been finalized yet. The engineer for the project is “studying ways to irrigate the park …” As the reporter fails to give more information about this issue, I’m unable to tell just how far away the drawings are from being complete. However, this does suggest that even if the project had sailed unopposed through the approval process without a word from the neighbors, the project would still not be able to move into construction at this time as the water source has not been fully designed or engineered, but is still in the study phase.
Furthermore, I’ll suggest that perhaps the approval process wasn’t so much delayed by the neighbors as it may have been over-aggressively scheduled by the city. After all, what’s at stake is not a small park on a remote piece of property distant from the city, but a 12-acre multi-use recreation field on a heavily traveled street, placed against the back fences of houses in an older, established neighborhood.
Although there were discouraging moments, the review process ultimately was fair and equitable, as all parties involved, including the city, contributed to the design of the park in a democratic atmosphere. My concern is that either that notion may be fading too rapidly from the collective memories of those involved, or the reporters and editors of the story failed to exercise the balanced journalism their readers deserve.
Andrew J. Pawlowski
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