I was disappointed by mayoral candidate and former comptroller William Thompson’s op-ed last week that the city “systemically” overlooks local media in allotting funds for public service announcements (PSAs).
Mr. Thompson's proposal to place these announcements in small circulation media outlets defeats the purpose of such information: the wide dissemination of important material to the broadest possible audience. It is a disingenuous effort to divert already scarce public resources to politically favored media.
Rather than insure that all citizens would have access to important public information through publication in general circulation newspapers (or, in Mr. Thompson’s words “big newspapers”), available to all citizens, in all communities, in our common language—English, Mr. Thompson would use newspapers and other media, many of which communicate in languages other than English and that are targeted to limited communities and ethnic groups.
Such a practice would deny to those who do not belong to those limited segments of the population the important information such announcements contain and would discourage many from becoming proficient in English—the glue that has built and sustained a free America, an America that has produced the world’s greatest economy and standard of living.
As a proponent of mayoral term limits, I supported Mr. Thompson in his 2009 campaign, but his inability to grasp the concept of “general circulation” in placing PSA’s is ill-advised and divisive, and requires me to reconsider his future candidacies.