An ad that may raise some eyebrows
This issue of the Heights Observer contains an ad that is likely to raise some eyebrows in the community. You can’t miss it; it’s the largest ad we’ve ever run.
The advertiser is First Interstate Properties, the Lyndhurst-based development company that’s planning to develop the former Oakwood Club property in South Euclid and, later, Cleveland Heights.
I believe some readers will wonder why the Observer accepted the ad, since First Interstate isn’t located in the community that the Observer serves, and because First Interstate’s proposal is so unpopular among many of the individuals who have had the most to say on the subject.
But individual opinions aren’t of consequence in deciding which ads the Observer will publish.
We accepted this advertisement without any discussion or deliberation. And for the cynics out there, while we’re happy to accept the revenue from this ad, the lack of deliberation had nothing to do with money.
Anybody may advertise in the Heights Observer as long as they meet basic content standards (no pornography, illegal activity, libel, etc.). There would be discussion about an ad that makes some kind of personal attack; the deliberating body would be the board of FutureHeights, and the discussion would most likely take place via e-mail. But such an instance hasn’t occurred yet, and if it did, I would lean toward finding a reason to publish.
I’ve been involved with media at various levels for more than 25 years, and this has been the standard at every organization with which I’ve been involved. Anything else would create a mire of subjective decision-making that, over time, results in a loss of credibility. It would make it impossible for the Observer to fulfill its role of promoting dialogue and community engagement.
And that’s a final point: First Interstate has agreed to purchase the Oakwood property in both South Euclid and Cleveland Heights. It is, in fact, a member of this community. The opinion of its management is welcome here. As is yours.
To express your opinion privately, e-mail Bob Rosenbaum at firstname.lastname@example.org. To express your opinion as a letter to the editor, register at the Observer Member Center (http://heightsobserver.org/members) and click on “Submit New Story” to contribute your letter.
Rosenbaum, chairman of the Observer's editorial advisory committee and FutureHeights board member, writes this column to provide transparency and understanding about the Observer.
Bob Rosenbaum, chairman of the Observer's editorial advisory committee and FutureHeights board member, writes this column to provide transparency and understanding about the Observer.