Dear Energy In Depth,
I'll just put my cards out on the table here: I don't know what kind of unit you're running over there.
First off, and by way of background for those unfamiliar with your operations: I understand that my website and yours are different. Mine is journalism-based. And as a reporter who has worked for a laundry list of newspapers over the years, I can tell you that accuracy, objectivity and fairness are cornerstones of every one of those organizations.
Second: While yours might be a site that is funded by the Marcellus Shale industry, your "about us" section indicates that you folks have some high standards.
Let me quote, if I may:
"Launched in April 2011, the Northeast Marcellus Initiative is a natural gas industry funded organization that serves as the eyes and ears (as well as arms, legs and heart) of the EID coalition in the region—and the catalyst for a campaign that seeks to engage, educate and mobilize supporters of responsible resource development throughout northeastern Pennsylvania and the southern tier of New York."
I got caught up on the word "educate," guys.
And here's why: I received a blog entry titled, "Washington County Resident Speaks up in Support of Natural Gas."
Because I, too, want to educate my readers on issues of importance (and we all know that Marcellus Shale drilling in this area has been polarizing), I ran the blog on the subject—especially since the name of the woman reportedly writing the story, Janice Gibbs, is a known name in Cecil Township.
I thought people would be able to hear first-hand why a woman in our area would support the natural gas industry.
But upon looking further, the user name associated with the blog was not Ms. Gibbs—it was from Joseph Massaro, who is a field director for Energy In Depth's Northeast Marcellus Initiative.
And the person who posted the blog was apparently not even a Washington County, or Pennsylvania resident.
Mr. Massaro actually is from New York, according to his bio located here.
I would think that an organization that seeks to educate the public would do so in a more transparent manner.
And I wanted you to know personally that was the reason why the blog was removed—because I don't want to pass off what could be the writing of an industry-paid field director as something that was composed by a local concerned resident.
I'd like to add that various comments on my stories from Tom Shepstone, your campaign director, had been removed because the gentleman would post links to his own stories in the comments section—despite the fact that they were often off subject.
Mr. Shepstone: In MY industry, that would be the same as me posting a link to my stories under those written by the Observer-Reporter or Almanac on their sites. It just doesn't happen.
That all said, I would like to ask why a staffer for your organization is posting as or for a Washington County resident, yet using his Energy In Depth email.
You may comment directly on this story so we are all on the same page—because I don't understand why, if Ms. Gibbs wrote the story, she was not the one to post it.
Also: I have included screen shots to show what happened. Take a look at the attached files.
Amanda Gillooly, editor of the Canon-McMillan Patch
PS - This question goes out to Mr. Massaro personally: You commented on a story that appeared on my website last week that Energy In Depth just put two people "on the ground" in our area. What exactly are their responsibilities?