Special to The Sentinel

After two years of operating as an independent entity, The Sentinel has become a subsidiary of Kansas Policy Institute.  Additional resources and editorial guidance from KPI will enhance The Sentinel’s ability to hold government and media accountable in Kansas, with expanded coverage of local government issues.

Jack Cashill will continue his association with The Sentinel and Danedri Herbert is returning after a temporary absence.  Their efforts will focus on economic issues like education, tax burdens, government spending, the economy, health care, regulatory matters and transparency.

Reporters will be testing media for:

  • Accuracy – are the facts accurate and independently verified?
  • Full context – are stories presented in appropriate context (e.g., claims that funding is being ‘cut’ when in fact it’s growing)? Has readily-available information been included that disputes claims by one party?
  • Bias – if viewpoints are included, are opposing viewpoints given equal consideration? Are reporters injecting their own viewpoint into the story?

These basic principles of journalism are too often absent and, regardless of intent, citizens are deprived of the ability to reach their own informed decisions.  And since politicians in both parties have been known to occasionally provide less than complete and accurate information, their statements will be similarly scrutinized.

To be clear, however, the purpose of these accountability efforts is not to attack or shout ‘gotcha,’ but to elevate Kansans’ knowledge of key challenges and possible solutions.  Our purpose must therefore be reflected in the tone of our writing, and we encourage our readers to let us know if they believe we’re falling short in any way.

Like many Americans, Kansas Policy Institute believes that today’s toxic political environment prevents the civil, albeit robust discussion that’s necessary to resolve challenges and preserve our constitutional rights to freedom.  We want to help change that culture and having a media subsidiary supplements our ability to lead by example.

Dave Trabert is president of Kansas Policy Institute

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