One thing I've always tried to avoid in my time with the Nueces County Record Star is explaining myself or any of our stories to a disgruntled reader.
I don't plan on doing that now, though, but I feel like something needs to be said after a recent slate of events, particularly since more than a few people have tried to question my ethics as a journalist and labeled me "anti-Robstown." It goes without saying those who feel this way reside in the city I just named.
Let me be clear - I have one side when it comes to anything that occurs within the city Robstown, or all of the areas of Nueces County that makes up our core readership. That side is you, our readers.
Nearly everything that has been reported by myself or managing editor Jeff Tucker has had its fair share of criticism. When we broke the story on the outlet mall, certain individuals were upset that we had done so because it allegedly threw a wrench in supposed plans for the acquisition of property for said project.
Other stories, such as school board disputes for the Robstown Independent School District and a lawsuit against the Calallen Independent School District, were said to be negative and harmful to the children of those respective school districts.
Most recently, a story on a proposed city ordinance that could potentially allow the Robstown Fire Department to charge fees to residences and businesses in the event of a response created a bevy of damage control by city personnel.
To this day, we stand by each and every decision made on every story we have written and published. Contrary to popular belief, most of them did not come lightly.
Journalistic ethics are something I have always held dear, from the moment I learned my responsibility in a reporting class in college. My professor, Manuel Flores, told the whole class some two and a half years ago that we were responsible for informing the public, no matter the scale of the story or size of the newspaper.
Weekly or daily, it didn't make a difference - the oath always remains the same.
"It's something you cannot take lightly," he said, and I don't.
From car accidents to drug busts, and road work to multi-million dollar projects, I approach every story with an open mind. I wish I could say the same for others in this profession who have caused doubt among the public about the media's ability to report the truth, but that's just a reality the rest of us need to deal with.
It is not the job of a journalist to twist the facts to look positive or negative, but rather to inform the public of what is going on. Some may disagree with that statement, but those are probably individuals who are entrenched on one side of an issue that we choose not to become entangled in, or already have a preconceived notion about reporters in general.
Despite being accused of being a biased journalist by a select few, I pride myself on being able to give you, our readers, the facts. It's a promise I made to myself and future readers about three years ago when I made the decision to journey down this path as a professional.
And even with all of the criticism that has been leveled upon this newspaper, we will continue to work hard to provide our readers with nothing more than facts and the truth. You, dear reader, deserve that and nothing less.
Tim Olmeda is the news editor for the Nueces County Record Star. Readers may contact him via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.