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News that's fit to print

Wednesday, November 13, 2019
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All the news that is fit to print is considered the seven most famous words in journalism. In 1897 the owner of The New York Times, Adolph S. Ochs, used the slogan, “All the News That’s Fit to Print,” and it still appears on the masthead of that paper today. He said at the time that it was a declaration of the newspaper’s intention to report the news impartially.

While the truth of the NYT remaining an impartial bastion for objective news is debatable, the pursuit of that should be a constant mirror for print media today.

Readers and subscribers of The Ennis News look to us for many things, and we endeavor to provide accurate news and information as best we can.

That includes the recent story about the sudden retirement of the Ennis Chief of Police and the resignation of the City Manager. The latter had 18 departments reporting to his authority, including Ennis law enforcement.

The swift, same day decision has been met with disappointment, questions, doubts and frustration. Much of the annoyance is at the lack of information coming from City Hall. That is understandable.

Who, what, where, when and especially why, not to mention the frequent query – what? What happened?

We know, because we are asking the same. Some answers are beginning to come and clarity, while it may surface, often takes its time. And when people thwarted of answers have time, they often gravitate to social media. Expressing ideas and thoughts may temporarily fill the void or scratch the itch to know, it often exacerbates the situation.

Making situations worse is common when trying to satisfy an urge to do something. And when left with blanks, our hands are driven to write in our names and sign the blank checks. That is, filling the gaps, adding our two cents, even forcing our reasoning on cyber readers.

We know, we’re prone to do the same. But we are not going to do so in this newspaper.

Ennis is a proud city and has grown on the backs of hard, honest work and on godly values. Ennis may have had some misdeeds in its past, but we are striving to be true and faithful stewards of truth.

To be honest, we know more than we can currently print, but partial truth out of context is not complete nor worth sending to our readers.

We are doing our due diligence. There are assets and liabilities involved, both with the people involved, the reputation of this city but primarily, weighing the two - we as a publisher of news and truth, owe it to all parties to get it right. It is essential that we do our homework before we inform the public.

That means we are in contact with city leaders, with law enforcement – both in Ennis and objective, legal experts, not to mention digging, reading and perhaps most of all, listening. We are following closely what we have learned and will not report it unless it is confirmed by the city or the county jurisdiction.

The Mayor has made contact with the paper regularly, either providing information or answers to our questions or stating there is a limit to what can be disseminated. We are encouraged about that. Seeing and hearing the City Manager at a public gathering on Tuesday was uplifting and hopeful.

Knowing the City Commission has moved promptly to place an interim Police Chief veteran from outside of Ennis is a healthy move. It speaks of being open and transparent. Hiring from within does not. Leaders are meeting with an interim City Manager candidate, also a veteran who is not from Ennis, who would bring in outside eyes and insights.

We anticipate publishing an update this weekend and will continue to serve you with news that is fit to print.