Lois Tomaszewski, Managing Editor of
the Elkhart Truth, Spoke to the Club
Madam Sergeant Kathy Geiger did her duty to extract fines from unsuspecting Rotarians.  Kathy found a fun way to find a unique Rotarian at each table by asking a series of probing questions.
Today’s speaker was the Managing Editor of Elkhart Truth Ms. Lois Tomaszeweski.  Lois has year of journalistic experience born on the South Side of Chicago, Lois moved to Florida to raise her son where she worked for a newspaper after 13 years Lois moved to N. Carolina and was the sole reporter/editor for a small town newspaper. After Paxton media group, a privately held company founded in 1896 purchased the Elkhart Truth from the Dille family, Lois was brought in to be the managing editor of the newspaper.  Lois has many goals for the paper one of which is to return it to the home town feel. Lois believes the newspaper should be a “letter from home” Lois has 5 reporters, a sports editor and a sports reporter. Lois follows and insists her reporters follow the code of ethics for Journalist in fact she brought a copy with her that hangs on her office wall. Lois read this code.
SEEK TRUTH AND REPORT IT Journalists should be honest, fair and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information. Journalists should:  Test the accuracy of information from all sources and exercise care to avoid inadvertent error. Deliberate distortion is never permissible.  Diligently seek out subjects of news stories to give them the opportunity to respond to allegations of wrongdoing.  Identify sources whenever feasible. The public is entitled to as much information as possible on sources’ reliability. Always question sources’ motives before promising anonymity. Clarify conditions attached to any promise made in exchange for information. Keep promises.  Make certain that headlines, news teases and promotional material, photos, video, audio, graphics, sound bites and quotations do not misrepresent. They should not over simplify or highlight incidents out of context. Never distort the content of news photos or video. Image enhancement for technical clarity is always permissible. Label montages and photo illustrations.  Avoid misleading re-enactments or staged news events. If re-enactment is necessary to tell a story, label it. Avoid under cover or other surreptitious methods of gathering information except when traditional open methods will not yield information vital to the public. Use of such methods should be explained as part of the story.  Never plagiarize.  Tell the story of the diversity and magnitude of the human experience boldly, even when it is unpopular to do so.  Examine their own cultural values and avoid imposing those values on others.  Avoid stereo typing by race, gender, age, religion, ethnicity, geography, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance or social status.  Support the open exchange of views, even views they find repugnant.  Give voice to the voiceless; official and unofficial sources of information can be equally valid.  Distinguish between advocacy and news reporting. Analysis and commentary should be labeled and not misrepresent factor context.  Distinguish news from advertising and shun hybrids that blur the lines between the two. Recognize a special obligation to ensure that the public’s business is conducted in the open and that government records are open to inspection.
Lois told us she has a lot yet to accomplish; she encourages engagement from the community.