Hallandale Beach Blog -A common sense public policy overview offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, govt., public policy, sports scene and pop culture of the U.S., South Florida, Europe and Sweden. In particular, Broward & Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood & Aventura.
Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln. Pictured in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A; September 2008 photo by me, South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Former Miami Herald Ombudsman Edward Schumacher-Matos -whose position at the Herald remains unfilled 27 months later by McClatchy execs- as NPR's Ombudsman, lays the wood into NPR's Laura Sullivan & Amy Walters for a 2011 investigation re foster care in South Dakota, which officials there took umbrage with, and for good reason it seems. “My finding is that the series was deeply flawed and should not have been aired as it was”







Poynter.org
NPR stands by story its ombudsman criticized
by Andrew Beaujon
Published Aug. 12, 2013 5:29 pm
Updated Aug. 12, 2013 5:34 pm
There are six chapters of NPR Ombudsman Edward Schumacher-Matos’ epic examination of Laura Sullivan and Amy Walters’ October 2011 investigation about foster care in South Dakota.
The series won awards but was also criticized by the state’s governor and head of its Department of Social Services. “Many South Dakota residents also have written me in disapproval of it,” Schumacher-Matos writes. “My finding is that the series was deeply flawed and should not have been aired as it was.” 
Read the rest at:












Edward Schumacher-Matos split his Ombudsman position at the Miami Herald in May of 2011 after he'd been WITHOUT either a blog or a weekly print or online column, but rather saddled with a peculiar once-in-a-while, sometimes every 3-4 months column thing, for NPR in Washington, D.C. 

Schumacher-Matos' position at the Herald remains unfilled 27 months later by McClatchy execs, who seem to place no value on readers and their questions of fairness or bias having a seat at the table.
There's nobody to represent readers' deep and justified concerns about examples of bias, misrepresentation and flackery in the paper on behalf of South Florida's powerful and privileged, who have high-powered attorneys and PR consultants to ensure they are seen only in the most positive light.

But then that's just one of many unresolved customer problems there these days that cause it to lose readers every week.

It's fair to say that a lot of people in South Florida took ESM and his position for granted, including lots of local bloggers and politicians, and the Herald certainly did him no favors by NOT giving him much of a perch to speak out from.

But something, even infrequent, is better than nada, and right now, with that reader level of confidence among serious readers of the Herald as low as it's ever been, it's worth a minute to consider what message they are sending when they refuse to name anyone to that position.

His infrequent columns at least tried to keep Herald reporters and editors on the level and be square with readers, but since he left, anything goes -and does.

While I've written about this troubling subject many times on this blog, and have written Herald management and editors about their failure to fill the position, even posting those emails to them here for you to see for yourselves, it's clear they have a different point-of-view.
It is what it is.

To see how indifferent they are to reader perceptions of bias or unfairness, take a poke at my blog post from May of 2012 titled, "What's going on at the Miami Herald? More than a year after the last one fled, the Herald still lacks an Ombudsman -and shows no sign of getting one- to represent readers deep concerns about bias, misrepresentation and flackery on behalf of South Florida's powerful & privileged at the Herald. And that's just one of many unresolved problems there..." 

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Hallandale Beach Blog is where I try to inject or superimpose a degree of accountability, transparency and insight onto Florida and local Broward County government and public policy issues, which I feel is sorely lacking in local media now. On this blog, locally, I concentrate my energy, enthusiasm, anger and laser-like attention on the coastal cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood and Aventura.

If you lived in this part of South Florida, you'd ALREADY be stuck in stultifying traffic, paying higher-than-necessary taxes and continually musing about the chronic lack of accountability among not only elected govt. officials, but also of city, county and state employees as well. Collectively, with a few rare exceptions, they couldn't be farther from the sort of strong results-oriented, eager work-ethic mentality that local residents deserve and expect. But seldom if ever see...

This is particularly true in the Broward County city I live in, the City of Hallandale Beach, north of Aventura and south of Hollywood and right on the Atlantic Ocean. Here, the "Perfect Storm" of years of apathy, incompetency and cronyism are all too readily apparent. Sadly for its beleaguered residents, HB is where even easily-solved, quality-of-life problems are left to fester for YEARS on end, because of myopia, lack of common sense and ineffective supervisory management. It's a city with tremendous potential because of its terrific location and well-educated populace, yet its citizens have almost become numb to HB City Hall's frequent outrages and screw-ups, the result of YEARS of the worst kind of mismanagement and lack of foresight. On a daily basis, residents and Small Business owners wake up and see the same old problems that have never being adequately resolved by the city in a logical and responsible fashion, merely kicked -once again- further down the road for others to solve in the future.

I used to ask myself, not always rhetorically, "Where are all the enterprising young reporters who want to show that through their own hard work and enterprise, what REAL investigative reporting can produce?" Hearing no response, I decided to start a blog of my own that could try to do some of these things, taking the p.o.v. of a reasonable-but-skeptical person seeing the situation for the first time with fresh eyes, and wanting questions answered in a honest and logical way that citizens have the right to expect.

Hallandale Beach Blog intends to be a catalyst for positive change in public policy and goivernment engagement. If there's one constant gripe in South Florida, regardless of your age, race, nationality or political persuasion, it's about the fundamental lack of PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY of Florida's state, regional and local govt./agency officials, elected and otherwise. Hallandale Beach Blog aims to be a small step towards regaining some of that needed accountability, whether it's thru shining some well-needed public scrutiny on the issue or pol, or requires a higher degree of follow-up investigation and public exposure of the incompetency, cronyism or negligence -South Florida's usual governing style.
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North Miami Beach Senior High School, the Home of the Chargers

North Miami Beach Senior High School, the Home of the Chargers
Before I was a Hoosier, I was an NMB Charger, Class of 1979.

In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation

In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation
"In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation." -South Beach Hoosier, 2007.