I read with great interest your front-page story (JP Gazette, May 1, 2009 “Jackson Square CAC votes to ban media”) about the Jackson Square Community Advisory Committee’s refusal to allow the Gazette or other media to attend their meetings regarding development in Jackson Square. While it’s highly objectionable that a community group would impose a ban on press access to information for the community most affected, the CAC is not the only public party in this story failing its commitment.
As noted in the article, aides for state representatives, a deputy from the Boston Redevelopment Author-ity (BRA) and Gazette staff agreed to step outside of a meeting that, by definition, should involve repre-sentation from each of these interested parties. The Gazette further acquiesced to the CAC’s ban on public access to information by leaving the April 28 meeting altogether, rather than stay and be able to inform the public about its contents.
While I understand the paper’s enduring frustration with the CAC for consistently refusing to meet either individually or as a group to conduct an on-the-record discussion, I am thoroughly disappointed that my com-munity newspaper would choose to leave, rather than fulfill its own responsibility.
Jackson Square CAC supports its rationale for rejecting transparency with the complaint that previous news coverage of its meetings was “biased and unfair,” while failing to see that a separate meeting with the Gazette would give the committee an opportunity to tell its story.
What is the Gazette’s reasoning for retreating?