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Political Analyst Jack Lessenberry says there was a “Journalism Failure in Flint”

In a recent opinion piece for Michigan Radio, which is part of the NPR Digital Network, noted political analyst Jack Lessenberry wrote there has been a “journalism failure in Flint.”

Lessenberry was referring to the Flint Journal saying “we didn’t do good enough” in not reporting the felony convictions of two candidates for Flint City Council. Newly elected Wantwaz Davis served 19 years in prison for murder and ¬†Eric Mays has a felony assault conviction on his record ( actually one of two felonies on his record). The Flint Journal also missed two candidates who filed for bankruptcy. Lessenberry says “we have a new winner for journalistic understatement of the century” in Flint Journal editor Marjory Raymer’s statement of not doing good enough.

In the piece, which can be found here, Lessenberry also acknowledged Pat Clawson, a former investigative reporter for CNN, as the closest thing “Flint has these days to a civic watchdog” and makes mention of Clawson saying Davis’ conviction having been broadcast on local talk radio. Clawson was referring to WFNT 1470 AM and a couple of our programs, The Morning Gazette Radio Program with Mike Killbreath and The Tom Sumner Program. Both shows discussed Davis’ murder conviction well before the election.

Lessenberry said his first instinct was “to think that Raymer and paper’s political reporter, Dominic Adams, should resign in embarrassment or be fired” but then gives them a reprieve saying the Flint Journal’s owners, Advance Publications has given them the resources to do the job of journalism “the way we once did.”

What are your thoughts on the Flint Journal and what happened here? Should Raymer and Adams resign in embarrassment as Lessenberry suggests? Or should they be fired?

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