Jeff L. Thigpen Register of Deeds

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Quick reflection on State of the Community Luncheon...

There's been some discussion about Mayor Keith Holliday's statements regarding the media at the "State of the Community" luncheon yesterday. (John Robinson and Ed Cone). ( and Robinson documents, then reflects on the Mayor's statements on his blog.

In my opinion, the Mayor's comments and John Robinson's reflections represent a natural tension between public officials and the news media that should not be underscored, dismissed, nor demonized. This natural tension has the capacity to be productive, counter productive, frustrating, and deeply enlightening depending on the elected official, media rep., and/or issues involved in it and how they choose to engage the tension. Yesterday, the Mayor engaged the tension (so to speak) and John Robinson appropriately took issue.

Should the media have been THE example by the Mayor of Cone's articulation of the "Greensboro disease?" My short answer is No. And, I get frustrated by broad generalizations by leaders describing citizens as "nay-sayers" and/or those who practice the art of compartmentalization re: dissent or "critical analysis" by one institution ( and say it's bad for Greensboro. I get just as frustrated by the "It's all Good!" practice of blind optimism which neglects legitimate issues and challenges. Both approaches are part of the "disease" in my opinion and should be engaged. The challenge for leadership is to understand this dynamic but not conform to it and use venues like the State of the Community to articulate a common direction for recovery from this disease.

I hope the Holliday/Robinson dialogue moves us toward recovery, not relapse.


Post a Comment

<< Home