Is the Tallahassee Democrat Becoming Irresponsible?

On Thursday, March 12, 2009, a front page article featured a picture of Jack Diestelhorst,  the founder and co-owner of Notary Public Underwriters in Tallahassee, Florida standing on the roof of his office building  next to a 25-kilowatt solar system.

The Democrat caption boldly states ” the rooftop solar system is projected to cut firm’s annual power bill by $5,000.” The news article had no information on the cost of system. 

Here is what was omitted:

After one ten minute phone call, Tallahassee Reports found out the system cost $170,000. A quick calculation indicates that saving $5,000 a year will allow Mr. Diestelhorst to break even after 34 years and that is if there is no other costs.

Why would Mr. Diestelhorst, a businessman, sign-up for such a questionable financial deal – could it be his love of the environment or maybe his infatuation with solar power?

Maybe he signed up because he received approximately $140,000 in government subsidies. That makes his cost approximately $30,000 and his break even period only 6 years. 

When asked why the cost and subsidy information was omitted, the journalist said this information would be covered later when he had more time.

Now the question is was the omission an editorial blunder or an institutional bias? Either way, the citizens of Tallahassee depend on a responsible source for information from the Tallahassee Democrat and they clearly did not get that in Thursday’s edition.

5 Responses to "Is the Tallahassee Democrat Becoming Irresponsible?"

  1. “Maybe he signed up because he received approximately $140,000 in government subsidies.” In your eminently responsible reporting, you failed to include any supporting data for your “calculation”. Did you pull it out of your butt?

  2. You have got to be kidding. The DemocRAT irresponsible? I too stopped delivery of this rag many years ago. Back in the day when when Lisa Morton used to write about Sheriff Eddie Boone and then Undersheriff Larry Campbell. They did everything except have an alien baby! I had respect for Malcomb Johnson who truly loved Tallahassee,it’s history and it’s people. Most newspapers are suffering these days in part by the internet but bad reporting has to be a major factor too.

  3. LOL! What do you mean, “becoming” irresponsible? I stopped taking that paper more than 15 years ago. And to this day the only thing I ever read in it– given that someone leaves a copy lying around– is the classifieds.

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