As a veteran journalist, I am waking up in the middle of the night because of all the things wrong with your recent story of the city manager being fired over a "toxic" workplace.

All over the country we are losing the critical role the newspaper plays in making a democracy work. Incrementally, real news reporting is sidelined and, due to small staffs on the few news outlets that are left, little real journalism is being done. So, incrementally we slip into lower and lower standards.

What was unacceptable last week is now acceptable compared to what is going on this week.

I have no idea how to stop this drain of the critical work of the press, so important it's written into the Constitution. A vibrant intelligent working press with reporters on beats is critical for the entire nation to survive. I see the free press falling apart, not just here in this article, but everywhere in USA. And it's keeping me awake nights.

For example, your headline on this story cited the city manager's "toxic" workplace, which means gas is leaking. Please stop using slang in headlines, this is not Twitter.

However, when you use slang in the headline, the reader should know the story that follows is full of gossip and half truths more suited for Facebook than a newspaper. As a different local publication, Lake Tahoe News, showed in its reporting on the city manager firing, the real story here is about money, follow the money.

Instead, Tahoe Daily Tribune served us an article where one reporter wrote down what people at city hall who want to keep their jobs told her.

When you go as a reporter to a place that is in turmoil and everyone is willing to talk to you and they all end up saying the same thing, you can bet there is more happening here and no one can talk about it. Dig deeper. What TDT has done here is report the "official" story, the work of a public relations agency, not a newspaper.

Meanwhile, would somebody please investigate Zalanta. How much did the city lose on this boondoggle that is sitting there empty? What was City Manager Nancy Kerry's involvement with a big brown glob of empty luxury condos we have now in Tahoe taking up the best view in town (seen by nobody)?

To me, losing the city a gazillion dollars is a lot more likely reason to fire a city manager than her "toxic" workplace, whatever the heck that means.


Kay Ebeling

South Lake Tahoe, California