Why We Investigate

The media in general and The Montclair Dispatch play an important role in informing the public about the work of public agencies, elected officials and the financial and contractual transactions associated with them. The use of public tax funds deserves the clearest transparency. The Montclair Dispatch strives to provide the public with as much information as practical and possible about how their tax dollars are used, as long as it is clearly in the public’s interest.

We believe that:

“The role of the media is critical in promoting good governance and controlling corruption. It not only raises public awareness about corruption, its causes, consequences and possible remedies but also investigates and reports incidences of corruption. The effectiveness of the media, in turn, depends on access to information and freedom of expression, as well as a professional and ethical cadre of investigative journalists.”

—Rick Stapenhurst in his report entitled, “The Media’s Role in Curbing Corruption” to the World Bank Institute.

The Montclair Dispatch relies on information from concerned citizens, in addition to the tools provided by the federal government and the New Jersey legislature and our judicial systems for the explicit purpose of providing the public with the knowledge needed. Tools such as the Open Public Records Act (OPRA), the Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA) and the Common Law Right of Access and the Federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and others are used by The Montclair Dispatch.

The Montclair Dispatch only pursues its investigations as a journalistic endeavor and only when the public’s need to know is served.

The Montclair Dispatch was started on or about Nov. 4, 2010. Some of our investigations take years of research from a diverse universe of sources. The gathering of, warehousing of, and analysis of data that is used in our reporting is always done with an eye to inform the public of what is and has transpired so that a well informed public can judge for them selves the effectiveness of their communities and integrity of their leaders and social systems.

The Montclair Dispatch, its owners, publishers, editors, writers, contributors, support staff, interns, volunteers and more fully rely upon the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights to the Constitution of the United States and the New Jersey Shield Laws to protect us and our processes. While it might not always be clear or stated that the activities of the aforementioned group are connected to our stated purpose of investigating, gathering, observing, collecting and reporting of information it will be understood that the aforementioned group is working in concert with The Montclair Dispatch to its stated goals and that all rights, privileges and protections shall be extended to and afforded them without reservation.

With that said, do you have something for us to investigate? Let us know!

Scott Kennedy
The Montclair Dispatch

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