Back in my old journalism days, a crotchety, pipe-wielding, testy newspaper publisher once asked the team why we were in business. To break news? Nope. To ensure a well-informed citizenry? Not it. To speak the truth and protect the First Amendment? Nada.
“To make money,” he said.
He went on to explain that without sales, there would be no newspaper for us to put our talents, passion and energy to work. And it got me thinking of one of my very first assignments.
In a very small rural town, a special needs 17-year-old, who was also a quadriplegic, was swindled out of a small inheritance. He lived with his grandmother as both parents were out of the picture. Another grandparent on the other side of this low-income family had passed away and left him some money. He used his money to build a wheelchair accessible ramp and add a room to their mobile home. Only, the contractor started the job and skipped town, leaving the home exposed to severe water damage.