Questions for the Dispatch Editor

Dispatch Editor Ben Marrison is going to interact with the public.

At noon on Wednesday, he is going to participate in a one-hour question-and-answer session on

We urge everyone who has an interest in political media coverage in Ohio to participate – and, of course, to be respectful.  The Dispatch will screen the questions, so we are curious if tough questions will get through.

Here are some questions we urge Plunderbund readers to ask the Dispatch editor:

  • Have any of the companies in which the Wolfe Family – publishers of the Dispatch – have substantial holding received money from JobsOhio?
  • You have written a lot about the growing secrecy of state government records.  On July 14 you wrote, “Based on what I heard from many of you, you’re fired up that state lawmakers are continuing to keep public information from you.”  On July 7 you wrote, “It continues to get harder for you and us to find out what’s happening in government and public agencies.”  How have these concerns shaped the Dispatch’s coverage of the Kasich Administration?
  • Media outlets like the Cincinnati Enquirer and, even, ESPN and Plunderbund, have filed public records lawsuits.  Why hasn’t the Dispatch ever sued the Kasich Administration over access to public records?
  • The Republican Legislature seems focused on abortion rights, guns, and taxes.  Do you believe that these are the most important issues facing Ohio?
  • Does the Dispatch plan any coverage or stories about income inequality in Ohio?
  • Should the office of the Inspector General release the Coingate report?
  • Do you agree with Joe Hallett that “Kasich’s secretive JobsOhio program [is] a potential scandal-in-waiting?”
  • The Columbus Dispatch has never endorsed a Democrat for President.  Should people consider the paper to be unbiased?
  • Do you believe that the media should just “report the controversy.”  What does the Dispatch plan to do in the upcoming campaign to print analysis that allows readers to gain a deeper understanding of issues?
  • What is your favorite Ayn Rand book?
  • In the last election, John Kasich told the Cincinnati Enquirer:  “I’m not worried about transparency. I’m not going to get hung up on that stuff. If you’ve got something you want to know, I’ll tell you. I’m not here to ‘hide the pea.’ My bias is toward openness.”  Do you believe that the Kasich Administration has been biased towards openness?
  • George W. Bush.  Great President, or Greatest President?
  • Do you accept the scientific consensus that global warming is real, and that it is caused by human activity?  How does this believe affect the coverage of global warming issues by the Dispatch?
  • Does the Dispatch plan to hire an independent Ombudsman, or Public Editor, like the New York Times and the Washington Post?
  • Do you believe that Fox News is “fair and balanced?”  Is Fox News a model for the Dispatch?
  • Plunderbund has sued the Kasich Administration for records relating to security at the Governor’s residence.  Will the Dispatch be filing an amicus brief in support of these open records?

This is a good thing.  Usually, Marrisson only addresses important issues like whether a Foxtrot Comic was too risqué for the delicate sensibilities of Dispatch readers.  His public interaction with readers seems limited to printing letters in his Sunday Column that allow his to show how even-handed and big hearted the paper is.  See June 2, 2013 (“We have almost daily discussions about such questions, and we do consider the impact of publishing such stories.”) and July 21, 2013 (“I’m sure you value having a newspaper that presents a diversity of opinion. We certainly appreciate having you as a reader of our paper.”)

Mark your calendars for Wednesday at noon. Join the fun here.