Setting the Record Straight Print
Written by Jeffrey Herschler   
Monday, 27 December 2010 12:24

  On the evening of Wednesday, December 15th, I was up late (as usual) putting the finishing touches on that week's issue of FHIweekly.  I was scanning the digital headlines for breaking news to post to my newsletter.  I spotted a juicy one:  Jackson Health holding secret meeting... in the Miami Herald.  I scanned it briefly then made a quick decision to post and link it to my newsletter.  The next morning FHIweekly went out on schedule and, as usual, I immediately received several messages from readers.  One caught my eye. "Jeff, of all of the articles to run about Jackson...frankly do you think this one is in good taste?" the reader inquired.  I clicked through to the offensive article to find out.  

It's a short article and the main point is delivered in the final three sentences:

"Tuesday, Jackson executives will offer the report on security video cameras -- in secret. That portion of the audit committee meeting will be closed to the public.

A Jackson spokeswoman said Monday afternoon that the meeting will be closed under a section of the Florida Sunshine Law exempting details about government security systems."

-Miami Herald 12.15.10 

Sounds reasonable to me.  If I was meeting with my banker to change my PIN, I'd have the meeting "in secret".  Similarly, if I was conferring with my attorney regarding my last will and testament, I'd insist on a private setting.  Jackson officials made a prudent decision when they decided to close a meeting on sensitive security issues.

That headline was inflammatory and misleading in the sense that it implied that Jackson officials were committing some ethical breach by conducting a closed meeting.  Frankly this headline was not in good taste and had no place in FHIweekly.

Jackson faces an uphill battle against flat revenues and limited resources to meet increased demand for charity care.  It will continue to be under the public spotlight. As a journalist I will report the relevant and timely Jackson stories - good and bad.  However I won't post the inflammatory and misleading ones.   

About the Author:  Mr. Herschler is the Editor and Publisher of FHIweekly and