Let me start off, I do not work in the local media, have never worked in local media, and if the URL is not a dead giveaway, I am just another minifigure in the Creative Services Department at the local station in the minifig world. I live in the market where the missing child is centered on. Also I am not fond of children, and I do not like children and I am not a pedophile, so you wonder who’s the real creeps – the local media? Who knows… I will not name any individual or outlet by name.
The story began in early January as a knee-jerk reaction of a missing 9 year old who had not been seen since 2019. The Manchester, NH Police Department (one of several hundred state & local government agencies in the State of New Hampshire that the general public must obey and never question) issued a public announcement begging for people to give the department answers.
As time went along, the largest statewide newspaper and the lone full time news operation, on a commercial TV license starts to pick around the story, but with any legitimate news gathering operation, this was obviously a reaction driven narrative, because oh-my-god-how-in-the-hell-did- we-miss this?
The Titanic didn’t hit an iceberg and capsize
Space Shuttle Columbia didn’t just fall from the sky in 2003
And Enron didn’t just randomly file for Chapter 11 in late 2001.
There are warning signs when government can do wrong. The media did not do a proper job to hold the power to account. The Manchester TV station often gives state employees and people in power a voice, but rarely to victims of say the developmentally disabled system, the corrupt special education system, leave that to public media, of which it’s a shadow of it’s former self (not to mention the powerhouses of WGBH and WBUR spilling over to a million listeners north of the Massachusetts border.)
If I was the ND, assistant ND, or hell even the GM, here’s what I would’ve done with the case of Harmony…
- Go into automatic eDiscovery of all voicemails and emails of any tips that may had been involved with Harmony, from the previous 60 days the very moment this became a major story, or even a breaking event.
- If any discovery had something to do with this missing girl, the sources should be triaged for additional scrutiny
- All media outlets should air a side of skepticism of whatever state and/or local government tells the media. The state government, that is the State of New Hampshire, should have some expectation the media will hound for information, and the state should not play privacy cards to cover up wrongdoings.
- All stories related to this should follow some internal Standards & Practices. the Manchester station does not publicize their standards, but the Boston station does (now I am singling out stations). Which tells you a lot of the lack of accountability with that unsaid station
- If any of this work is nominated for an Emmy, this would be extremely tragic. We now are settling for low rent reporting, instead of making real differences. This narrative if the local media did their job, would want to aspire to win an duPont, or Peabody… this narrative is lowering the standards of accountability. A local Emmy for this “work” is nothing to hold up as a First Amendment weapon.
There are other pressing issues in the government of the State of New Hampshire. The governing body of this state impacts a lot of people and there is more than 10,000 state employees by the spirit of the law protect them from accountability. This is what you expect in a fifth world country, not a state part of America. Our media in both Boston and Manchester choose to conveniently give our government the benefit of the doubt, then start to point fingers after the impact
Sorry for the family’s dealings right now. There are other issues going on in this region too.