Mary Ellen Beatty
Director of Citizen Outreach
Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity
Melissa Genson remembers growing up during the Cold War and learning that, behind the Iron Curtain, the government controlled the media. Citizens of the Soviet Union could only learn what their government wanted them to know.
Melissa said, in a featured report by Jackie Moreau, the Managing Editor of Watchdog Wire, that she is now worried that American media has forgotten its role as a government watchdog. She says that today’s mainstream media is creating its own “Iron Curtain” in this country; so, she decided to join the citizen journalism revolution.
“My advice to mainstream media is to remember your job. Your job is to question those in power, not be their mouthpiece. And stop ridiculing the concerns of ordinary people,” Genson told Moreau during their interview. “I think it’s too late for a lot of mainstream media. The Internet has made citizen journalism accessible, and a viable alternative. We have become our own version of Radio Free Europe—just in our own country.”
Genson was credited with the detection and exposure of a local sex offender in her area who was convicted of molesting a 5-year-old boy. Genson learned through her inquires that, after he had been accepted into a court-ordered rehabilitation program, the offender resumed unsavory social media activity, violating the terms of his diversion. However; at the time of her investigation, she learned that the recidivist offender remains under public protection, because of his alleged remorse.
Click to read the full interview with Watchdog Wire – Northwest editor, Melissa Genson.
Today, citizens like Melissa are rising up to tell the stories dismissed by major news outlets. She believes it’s more important than ever to ask tough questions and challenge our government’s overreaching authority.