Star-Telegram journalists aren’t the enemy. We’re your neighbors

If you work in the news business you develop a thick skin.

Journalists often cover issues that evoke passionate debate, and not everyone wants to hear opinions other than their own. They may not appreciate, and may actually resent, the media providing a platform for opposing points of view.

We get that. But we aren’t the “enemy.” We’re your neighbors. You see us at your places of worship and when you take your kids to school. We mow our lawns, and, just like you, many of us clip coupons and worry about paying the bills.

Journalists at the Star-Telegram report stories, write editorials, produce videos, and photograph compelling images with a goal of connecting you to the events and people in your community.

We have the privilege and responsibility to help unravel complicated details and clutter so you can make informed decisions.

We’re used to being labeled as biased or just plain wrong.

We also hear from people who thank us for exposing wrongdoing; profiling inspiring individuals; and explaining complicated issues that affect their pocketbooks and lives.

In recent months journalists at the Star-Telegram have waded into some divisive and complicated issues and done the kind of reporting that has consequences.

A series of stories about abuse, poverty, drugs and crime in the Las Vegas Trail neighborhood in West Fort Worth led to the city creating a task force to improve living conditions.

A sub-standard motel was put on notice to make changes; apartments not meeting code have faced lawsuits; a much-needed washer and dryer were donated to an area pre-K school; and the area high school now has a food pantry.

In March, after the Star-Telegram reported on the massive clear-cutting of old-growth trees by developer D.R. Horton, this Editorial Board discovered additional cases where developers ignored city policy and bulldozed or cut trees without permits.

The City of Fort Worth has since pledged to devote more resources to monitoring developers and providing citizens with details about proposed projects.

More recently, Star-Telegram reporter Liz Campbell was contacted by residents in the Tarrant County community of Watauga who were alarmed that rezoning would allow an apartment complex behind their homes. Following Campbell’s stories, the developer canceled the project.

Thousands of you read, shared and told us you appreciated Bud Kennedy’s column that explained how struggling seniors can defer property taxes — instead of paying them now, they can allow the taxes to be collected when they leave the house and it’s sold. The column also explained why doing so might not be a good idea.

Reporter Diane Smith is giving parents and kids the information they need to start school. Reporters Anna Tinsley and Andrea Drusch are reporting on candidate positions in advance of the November elections. Reporter Deanna Boyd is unearthing stories of murders that police are trying to solve in her “Out of the Cold” podcast.

On this Opinion page we tell you what we think about important issues, but strive to present opposing points of view as well.

So when you disagree with us, or some of our contributing writers, speak up. In the midst of the heat, let’s try to find some light, some common ground that may lead to solutions.

Related stories from Fort Worth Star Telegram