The Daily Herald and journalistic integrity
To our readers:
Perception is everything. Especially in politics.
Our journalistic integrity is everything to us. Ask any of our journalists.
We prefer to tell the news, rather than be the source of it. But that is where we find ourselves today.
Recent news stories and social media posts have taken Paddock Publications, the parent company of the Daily Herald, to task for a printing job it accepted from Local Government Information Services.
It was a business decision to take on the job. The perception among some has become that the Daily Herald is the publisher of these publications. It is not.
The company does not endorse the content of any of the print jobs it does for vendors, including many newspapers. It neither embraces nor condemns them. It merely prints them.
And the editorial department is kept separate from the printing operation. For instance, the printing operation is ethically prohibited from disclosing to the newsroom when a press operator sees a scoop on another newspaper's front page coming off our presses. And the editorial department doesn't seek input on which print jobs the print center takes on.
The perception for some has become that the Daily Herald favors one party over another and by printing for LGIS, it's somehow promoting its message. That is not true.
Still, we understand that perception matters. And we want to move forward and extract ourselves from this politically charged environment.
As a result, Paddock Publications has made the decision to cancel commercial printing jobs with LGIS. As an independent newspaper publisher, we want no part of the flame-throwing accusations taking place between Gov. J.B. Pritzker and LGIS. Many critics cannot or refuse to differentiate between a commercial printing operation, for which the parent company Paddock Publications has many customers, and the Daily Herald's editorial mission to be unbiased and fair.
On Thursday morning came a public news release from Pritzker's campaign manager, Michael Ollen, excoriating Paddock for the print job. No one from Pritzker's office had contacted the company regarding its concerns and instead sent out a news release announcing it would withdraw from an upcoming online forum with his Republican opponent, Darren Bailey, because of the printing issue.
The Daily Herald arranged for the forum on behalf of the Illinois Associated Press Media Editors group, which represents dozens of newspapers around the state. The joint forum was created to provide a variety of papers access to the candidates.
Senior company leaders sought an audience with Pritzker Thursday afternoon, but he was unavailable. Instead, campaign manager Ollen agreed to meet. Senior management outlined Paddock's position on the printing, but Ollen would not commit on the governor's behalf to participate in the forum.
Withdrawing from the forum would be a grave disservice to voters.
Senior Management of Paddock Publications