HOOT! for Pew but HOWL! for the Inquirer.

rendellackermanGovernor Ed Rendell wanted to lease Pennsylavnia’s turnpike system to a private company last year. He said the lease would earn $1 billion per year that would fund the state’s transportation projects.

Turns out that the plan was a dud. Long after the state legislature rejected the proposal, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that – had the plan been implemented – the state would have lost money last year.

It is exactly this kind of reporting that we need from our newspapers. We need people who will act on behalf of the people, investigating those who are acting on behalf of the people. This is watchdog stuff, what we have relied upon newspapers for for decades.

Oh, except the information from this story, again, comes from a non-profit organization, the Pew Center on the States. The Inquirer is simply reporting the facts that Pew discovered.

Do we really need newspapers if other organizations are performing the watchdog role?

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