Illinois Civil Justice League: Record to Expand Coverage

December 14, 2004

Record to Expand Coverage

The Madison County Record publisher Brian Timpone, enjoying new publicity from an Associated Press story this morning, says the paper will expand its coverage to include lawsuits from St. Clair County, as well. St. Clair County's courts, home of a large medical malpractice docket, have been criticized in the past year by the Belleville News-Democrat for the failure of plaintiffs lawyers to file the required affidavits of merit and for the immense amount of "secrecy" in med mal cases in St. Clair County.

Knight Ridder publishes The Legal Reporter, a legal journal in St. Clair County, but that publication rarely carries any of its own editorial content. Knight Ridder owns the Belleville News-Democrat, as well as six other Metro-East weekly newspapers, and has a Board of Directors filled with representatives of five different national corporations. One could easily pick away at the "threat of media monopoly" or "possible board member conflicts," but it would be unfair and insulting to the great staff at these quality publications. But, just because Brian Timpone has a more partisan background, critics say that we are being plunged back into the "bad old days."

The Madison County Record responds to its critics in an editorial published yesterday. A check of the online poll this morning at the Madison County Record, which is asking "Does the Madison County Record provide balanced news coverage?", shows more than 1225 responses. That is certainly a record number for their online poll, which usually hovers around 100 responses. However, all of the attention is certainly not harming the Record. The thousand-plus new responses to the poll have lifted public opinion with nearly 65 percent of respondents answering that the Record's coverage is balanced. Just short of a landslide.


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