- Eye on Media
Another year of fun filled snarky news commentary and analysis is almost over and this December marks the second consecutive month that MGx has reached over 20,000 global visitors. Most visitors are from the US and 1% are classified as "addicts" and 35% as "regulars" by Quantcast. Almost 450 regulars are Oregon residents from Portland to Salem to Ashland to Brookings.
The advertising you see on MGx barely covers the cost of maintaining the website and its associated services and pays nothing towards the time and effort involved to research and report on important local issues. If each regular reader just contributed $6 this Christmas season it would pay 50% of the emergency room medical bills for my fifteen year-old daughter this year.
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"A critical, independent and investigative press is the lifeblood of any democracy. The press must be free from state interference. It must have the economic strength to stand up to the blandishments of government officials. It must have sufficient independence from vested interests to be bold and inquiring without fear or favor. It must enjoy the protection of the constitution, so that it can protect our rights as citizens." Nelson Mandela 1918 - 2013
In the course of working on an article about ORCCA’s deficits for The Sentinel I sent an email to the director, Mike Lehman, requesting information. According to an article in The World, Lehman had claimed that a new development director, Deborah Ross, had applied for fifteen grants since she began work July 15, 2013. There was no detail about the grants, how much, to whom, etc and a later document presented to the board of directors in late August indicated that the last grant written was before Ross’ arrival. Consequently, the following email exchange began.
MGx:Mike, do you have a detail of the fifteen grant applications you attributed to Deborah Ross in The World newspaper? If so, please forward as I am working on a story for The Sentinel.
LEHMAN: I will be out of office until Monday, I will try to have available for you the same document I am giving to the World.
So far everything is fine and Lehman is offering to be helpful but then I receive this threat from Deborah Ross.
DEBORAH ROSS: Mary,
I am feeling threatened and alarmed that you continue to collect, obtain, publish, write, and pursue information about me. If this does not stop immediately, I will file a request for a protective order.
First, it may come as a surprise to Ross but this story isn’t about HER it’s about getting to the truth. If, as Lehman claims, Ross applied for fifteen grants in six weeks what are they? Her reaction is both astonishing and revealing in that you have to wonder what is being hidden when a director of a very public organization like community action won’t answer simple questions.