• Gina Rullo

News flash: The Gazette is not a political party


Some elected officials and political figures have treated this newspaper and some of its staff like political adversaries. (Courtesy Photo)

There is something I must type and make sure all of our readers know.  For some, this may come as a shock based on your behavior. For others, you will wonder why I have to type it at all.


So here it goes.


The Gazette is not a political party.


That’s right. We are not political adversaries with any party. The newspaper does not run candidates. The newspaper, its owner Gabriel Donio and its editor-in-chief (that’s me) do not donate to any campaigns.


However, some elected officials and political figures have treated this newspaper and some of its staff like political adversaries.


It turns out they don’t like to be questioned or criticized. I often point to the First Amendment when I have these conversations.


For those who have forgotten:


“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”


The shutting down of this newspaper has been threatened. Umm, hello, First Amendment.

We have been told that we don’t have the right to question the actions of government.


Umm, First Amendment.


The definition of redress from dictionary.com is as follows:


noun


“the setting right of what is wrong:


“redress of abuses.


“relief from wrong or injury.


“compensation or satisfaction for a wrong or injury.”


verb (used with object)


“to set right; remedy or repair (wrongs, injuries, etc.).


“to correct or reform (abuses, evils, etc.).


“to remedy or relieve (suffering, want, etc.).”


The Gazette is a newspaper and not a political party. We do not run campaigns.


We do ask questions. We look into situations that affect the public. We investigate different topics. We then report on what we learn, see and hear.


It’s our job.


We want the best for our town and its residents.  We hope our elected officials on all levels feel and act the same way.


It is not our job to be sycophants or to be “yes men or women” for those in office.


And it is most certainly not our job to bend over backwards for those in office who want a favor after being nasty, rude and dismissive to me or members of the newspaper staff.


And to make sure we are all clear, just because a journalist is registered in one party does not mean that journalist only sees that point of view or reports on that point of view. Gabe Donio, owner of this newspaper, and I are not members of any local political party.


This newspaper does not care if Democrats, Independents, Republicans or undeclared people are elected. We only care about how you see the town, how you work for the town and how you act while in office.


And while I am explaining things, I would like to address some recent local “mansplaining” that has been going on regarding how this newspaper should be run.


Three white men, older than 50, have decided that they know how to run a newspaper better than me and have contacted me with “helpful” hints on how to do it. For the record, all three men are upper middle class, have no experience in running a newspaper, and represent both sides of the political spectrum.


As a woman in 2021, there is nothing I like better than having a man explain to me how to do the job I have been doing for more than two decades.


And to explain to me in patronizing detail how it should be done.


When I counter with facts, statistics and truth, they “tut-tut” my words and keep talking down to me.


I am not a soapbox person when it comes to women’s rights. I have always tried to treat everyone the same regardless of gender.


The same courtesy has not always applied to me.


I don’t mind criticism. I don’t mind questions about why we run certain stories. I do mind instructions from people who have no idea how this industry works.


It is not the place of men, or women, to tell other people how to do their jobs better unless that is their job.  


So I would ask the men who read this column, “have you tried to explain a woman’s job to her even if it is not your field or you don’t work as her boss?”


Your boss can tell you how he or she wants the work done. Some random guy who thinks he knows better certainly shouldn’t.


When I get my hair cut, I ask my stylist to do what she thinks is best since she is the expert.

I feel the same way about my accountant, chefs at restaurants, landscapers, etc.


To the men who have decided to tell me how to do my job despite me being in this career for more than two decades, think before you speak.


Words have power.


And how you choose to use them matters.


I see the three of you differently now. I am disappointed by your behavior. You didn’t listen when I tried to explain why the decisions we made were made. You assumed you know or knew better.


I can assure you, talking down to a woman is never the right thing to do. I strongly advise against doing it again to me or any woman.


My decisions are rational. And they don’t need to be double checked by a man who isn’t my employer.


But thanks to the three of you for your two cents. Now I know more about you and your attitude towards women in general.


I learned something about the three of you and I assure you, I will not forget.


Gina Rullo is the editor-in-chief of The Hammonton Gazette.