Broward News

UPDATE: 'The Our Town News' Source is a Paper Employee

The "resident" quoted as "Merle Lynn" in this week's "The Our Town News" story about how residents and commissioners want homeless people out of Coral Springs is an employee of that community newspaper.

Her name is Merle Rosenberg and she works in classified advertising.

Her quote about the homeless people who sell The Homeless Voice:

"Before they became a corporation, I used to feel sorry for the people that were hanging out on the corners asking for money, and I felt more inclined to give them a small donation. But since they became a business, I am in doubt as to whether I should be giving them the same support."

Homeless Voice director Sean Cononie commented on the original Juice post.

I called Nicol Jenkins, managing editor of "The Our Town News," and asked if the Merle Lynn in the story is actually Merle Rosenberg in classified. In the few minutes on the phone, Jenkins sounded surprised. She was very polite though. I asked a few times and I got a few different answers.

At one point Jenkins said, "They are two different people." Then she immediately backed off that statement and told me she would email me the contact information for the sources in her story. Thirty minutes later, I have not received that email.

I called the classified department of "The Our Town News," and spoke to Merle Rosenberg. I asked if she was quoted in the story as "Merle Lynn" and she asked me to hold. Three minutes later she returned to the phone and told me she was unable to comment.

This is incredibly poor, dishonest journalism.

Something else to think about:

If you examine this week's copy of the direct-mail community paper, an in-house ad claims that 99.8% of the papers mailed out are received. That 99.8% of the papers received are read. And that 99.8% of the people who read the paper report frequently purchasing products or services from advertisers. No source is cited.

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Michael J. Mooney