There’s little doubt that a major aspect of the whole David Wray affair has been the N&R’s coverage, or lack thereof, of the situation. Most recently, city beat reporter, Margaret Moffett-Banks has been taking some heat in the local blogs, mainly due to her comment over at editor John Robinson’s blog that she’s considering doing a story on the Walt Jones’ letter to City Attorney Linda Miles, which ConAlt considers to be the smoking gun in this whole mess.

ConAlt had earlier stated that Banks was biased in her reporting of the Coliseum Cafe petition to oust City Manager Mitchell Johnson. Meanwhile, Troublemaker predicts that any story Banks does on the letter will be favorable to Miles, because she and Miles “are best buddies.”

To her credit, Banks responds with humor to critiques of her work:

Linda Miles and I get along fine, but I certainly wouldn’t consider us “best buddies” or even “buddies.” I have the same professional relationship with her I have with everyone over at City Hall.

So to recap: I’ll look at the letter next week. And Linda and I aren’t BFFs.

One more thing: Thirty-three candidates for City Council makes me long for a dictatorship!!……

….I think I’ve finally found some common ground among local bloggers and News & Record editors: You both maniacally assign stories to me with complete disregard for my personal life!

Just kidding. But not really…..

I’ll take a look at the letter next week. If I do much more this week, you’ll find me disoriented and confused, walking the streets with my friends the space aliens.

No doubt Banks’ comments are part of the culture of transparency Robinson has created down at the N&R. Yet I’m not so sure that’s a good thing. I thought that back in June when the N&R laid off 41 people and staffers (almost immediately) ran over to Cone’s and started complaining about the horrid working conditions there. I didn’t think that was very professional, and I said so.

After all, the N&R is a private company, not the government, so its paying customers care mostly about results, not justifications about what they’re doing with their time or their money. If only our city government were as transparent as the N&R.

Let’s face it, responding to criticism only lends more credibility to the critics, though I’m certainly not suggesting that bloggers’ criticism of the N&R’s coverage is unjustified. In my mind, the best thing N&R staffers can do is just keep quiet and do their jobs.