The Journal Star leadership sometimes wonders why many people take a dim view of their newspaper. The JS has a weird sense of putting titles on letters to the editor and titles to articles written by their own reporters. Sometimes they will lead off with front page articles showing an adult demonstrating the use of what we called in my day were “rubbers”. Another time they front page “so and so dumped from board”. In prominent places they will keep a tally of those killed in Iraq as if those are the only people being killed in this country that averages over 150 vehicular deaths a day.
On 5/22/07, the JS editor decided to put the Family House fundraising efforts on the back page of section B. In an article titled “Family House nears fundraising goal” it stated that OSF donated $500,000.00, Caterpillar donated $400,000.00, Gerald and Helens Stephens donated $100,000.00, Family Houses Board of Directors donated $83,000.00 and William and Theresa Heidrich donated $50,000.00. (Note that the Stephens, the Heidrich’s and the Board of Directors members donated their own money.)
The majority of the community believes that the wealthy should make the major contributions to community benefiting organizations such as Family House and be the major contributions to facilities that they personally are pursuing such as the expanded zoo, the RiverPlex and Museums. These contributions they should be very newsworthy and should not be buried in the lower left hand corner of Section B.
I find it interesting that when a couple of ex-mayors donated five figure amounts to the zoo, their donations were worthy of front page news.
What’s the difference? The current zoo which for the last three years has lost a combined total of $1,100,000.00 with all indications that the expanded zoo will lose over $2,000,000.00 a year meaning the taxpayer and zoo users like the schools will be making up the losses.
Give the most credit to the Stephens, the Heidrich’s and the board, who donated their own money. Put articles of community interest like this at least in Section A.
When publicly held companies like Ameren and Caterpillar donate; (Personal contributors like Glen and Polly Barton donate their own money to causes they believe in.) they are donating stockholders money. Entities like hospitals are donating users (patients) money and the contributions are made up in users costs..