Monday, April 03, 2006


While I have taken my shots at The Des Moines Register, in the last few days they are showing what a local paper can do at its best. They have exposed an incredible web of mismanagement, at best, at a jobs-training agency that I have never heard of, but whose board is a who's who of the Polk County political establishment.

The first story tells of how the top three executives of the "Central Iowa Employment Training Consortium" get over $300,000 in annual salary. The boss, Ramona Cunningham, also gets three months paid time-off per year. All salaries are set by long-time Des Moines political fixture Archie Brooks. Nice work if you can get it. Today's story tells how the CIETC landed an extra $200,000 on the last day of the fiscal year in a "special one-day offer" from the state.

If it weren't high tax season, I'd have a field day with this, but in the meantime visit their web site with their inadvertently-hilarious board meeting minutes - it's tremendous stuff. Like this:

II.Board Officer Nominations

There was a discussion of the fantastic job Archie Brooks has done as chair, and how well the officers work as a team. It was also noted that, with all the changes in appropriations and administration, this is not a good time to change leadership. Motion by Max Worthington to retain the current slate of officers for another year, seconded by Dan Albritton, motion Carried.

If newspapers are to survive the internet era, this is how they will do it. Local newsgathering is an area that the newspapers can still do better than anyone else, when they set their minds to it.

1 comment:

Peggy said...

I miss the Des Moines Register. There is no better paper in Iowa to take with you to an extended brunch in a cafe. We get balanced reporting (fairly balanced anyway) in The Guardian but there is no Sunday edition and there is no comic section. In fact, there isn't a colour comic section in ANY UK paper. On top of that, going out for brunch on a Sunday just isn't in this culture. (sigh) That odd few hours after church on Sunday just isn't the same. I like the fact that you give credit where credit is due. Calling them to task over failing to report caucus results is strengthened all the more when you praise them for getting it right in this instance.