Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Accountable City Government

Baltimoreans will soon have another way to hold city government accountable for taking care of commonplace municipal malfunctions: Watchdog. The new Baltimore Sun feature will publicize neighborhood nuissances like missing street signs, broken water mains, traffic signals or street lights burned out.

Great idea. Putting city officials under additional public scrutiny provides even more motivation to fix the municipal problems that prevent our city from running at top efficiency. There's nothing like the threat of a bad headline to help get someone off their ass and onto the job.

This is the first bit of good news about a newspaper that has seemed to embrace its own demise over the past few years. The Sun management has made some pretty bad decisions recently - getting rid of veteran political cartoonist Kal and the condescendingly colorful new format aren't the half of it.

But this new feature is finally a step in the right direction. The paper needs to refocus its resources and energy to covering local and state affairs. While some schools of thought in journalism may be aporetic over media taking an active role in city affairs, The League believes The Sun is right to use the power of the press to spark positive change.

Watchdog will run weekly beginning October 10. Tips - and we know you've got 'em - can be sent to watchdog@baltsun.com or phoned in at 410-332-6735.

from The League: Reassembled

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