They say yesterday's newspaper is tomorrow's toilet paper - but some newspaper's editions are yesterday's toilet paper.
One of the newspapers in town isn't telling the whole story and to figure out which one - we'll have to see which article stinks the most.
From Branson Daily News correspondent Donna Cleavenger's report we could easily deduce that the battle for higher taxes is for the exclusive purpose of repairing and building new bridges.
"The Proposition A tax question on the ballot for November offers a guaranteed half-cent tax, should it pass, dedicated to both a new Taneycomo Bridge and the much-talked-about east/west corridor, according to steering committee representatives."
From Ozark Mountain Newspaper's Correspondent Gary Groman
"It was also pointed out that a proposed Taney County sales tax increase, of one half of one percent, will be voted on in the Nov. election and that a portion of that tax would be used to help address transportation issues.
When the question was asked, 'How much of the proposed tax would go to helping resolve the current problem with the bridge,' the general consensus of those talking about the tax was that the 'steering committee' is still working on that."
Groman doesn't appear to have a dog in the fight but Cleavenger provides a different story. Both Clevenger and Vonda Sheets (the only two journalists currently covering the Taney County Commission) are active on the board as director's of the White River Valley Historical Society, a private non-profit organization which recently started benefiting from tax payer funds starting with a transfusion of $50,000 (NV) earlier this year. They're currently lobbying for a sales tax increase to benefit their organization and perhaps a little cash for working on their hobby - hijacking the front page with editorial is their lobbying method of choice.
If reported - Special Interest Tax Includes Small Portion to Repair Bridge - voters might not be as likely to fork out $90 million.
Last week the Branson Daily News (BDN)offices in Hollister, Missouri were robbed, begging the question, "Was the newspaper's integrity stole with it?" BDN changed their buildings physical locks, but do their writers need to be put on lock-down as well? Or is this a simple misunderstanding?
I sincerely hope it's a misunderstanding. Since Cleavenger has stronger contacts in the county - its possible that she knows something Groman doesn't. Perhaps, instead of a special interest tax, all the money will go to repairing the bridge and building a road to Eastern Taney County through Hollister.
If it isn't, can the White River Valley Historical Society be trusted? After all, if the can't show integrity with our current history - how can we trust them with our past?
One more time - The Journalist Code of Ethics:
Journalists should be free of obligation to any interest other than the public's right to know.
Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived.
— Remain free of associations and activities that may compromise integrity or damage credibility.
— Refuse gifts, favors, fees, free travel and special treatment, and shun secondary employment, political involvement, public office and service in community organizations if they compromise journalistic integrity.
— Disclose unavoidable conflicts.
— Be vigilant and courageous about holding those with power accountable.
— Deny favored treatment to advertisers and special interests and resist their pressure to influence news coverage.
— Be wary of sources offering information for favors or money; avoid bidding for news.
Journalists are accountable to their readers, listeners, viewers and each other.
— Clarify and explain news coverage and invite dialogue with the public over journalistic conduct.
— Encourage the public to voice grievances against the news media.
— Admit mistakes and correct them promptly.
— Expose unethical practices of journalists and the news media.
— Abide by the same high standards to which they hold others.