By any reasonable judgment, the resignation of Julius Hatfield as Chairman of the Southeast Bullitt County Fire Protection District Board is a good thing. But it's important to note that without the excellent journalism of WDRB's Valerie Chinn, this would likely have been a story that never occurred.
Ms. Chinn's work is a solid example of the work that journalists do every day. They look under every rock to uncover things that would some would prefer to be kept hidden in the dark -- things like racism and corruption. And when those things are exposed to the light of day, things usually happen for the better -- like Mr. Hatfield's resignation.
This wouldn't be the case without America's commitment to a free press and the many professional men and women who work so hard to make that freedom work for us all. Far too often, journalists are criticized for merely reporting the details of the latest house fire or auto accident, but there's so much more to it than that. Their true worth becomes apparent when they dare to challenge the status quo in uncovering abuses of public trust, because without them, who else could we count on to do it?
Short answer: No one.
So here's to Valerie Chinn, her colleagues in Louisville and around the country. To journalists. Their willingness to stand up to power is what keeps us free.