The relationship between the news media and the governments can certainly be adversarial. It's only natural that there will be times when sources we cover would prefer that we not publish certain stories, or they may feel we're ignoring a story they do want out there.
But even when that conflict arises, we always strive to be civil in our discussions with officials and professional with our handling of all stories we do. And I can say that the vast majority of local government officials do the same with their treatment of our staff.
That leads me into telling you about something unique that happened this week at the Cayuga County Legislature meeting.
The 15-member board put forth a proclamation in honor of one of our reporters, Samantha House, who had been covering the Legislature over the past year. Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014, was officially Samantha House Day in Cayuga County.
If you know Samantha, you know that she'd probably prefer we keep this honor a secret. But I can't do that for two reasons: 1. I want our readers to know about the quality reporters and people we have on our staff, and this measure is a reflection of that; and 2. I want to express my appreciation to the county leaders who decided to do this.
This proclamation was a classy way to say good-bye to a reporter who covered a wide range of issues in her time on the county beat, including the contentious 2014 budget process. I think the legislators would agree that no matter the story, Samantha was thorough and fair.
The good news is that her farewell to the Legislature is not a good-bye to our readers. I wrote a few weeks ago about an expansion of our news coverage team, and as a result of that, Samantha is now focusing her reporting more fully on crime and court issues in our area. She's part of an impressive newsroom team, filled with journalists who have a passion for what they do and work hard to be outstanding representatives of our organization in this community.