Wow, that was fun. I don't have any actual "information" or so called "sources" to back up that story, but it's clearly true. The Republic certainly could go bankrupt in the next year and if it did, that would obviously lead to the elimination of hundreds of jobs. Wow, that's a great way to look like a journalist without having to engage in any, you know, actual "journalism."
Of course, I'm not the first person to realize that using "may", "could", "might" or "should" allows me to write anything I want. I pointed out earlier that Republic reporters are using those tricks to scare readers into thinking that lots of bad things--like foreclosures, clogged courts and a failed census--"could" happen as a result of SB 1070.
Now we learn that the Maricopa County Community College Board has refused to raise property taxes and bad things "may" happen to the Community College System. Here's a story by the Republic's Mary Beth Faller. Check out this scary headline:
Tax-hike rejection may hurt community colleges services
Ms. Faller didn't write the headline of course, but it's a good reflection of her scary lede:
Maricopa County property owners won't face higher taxes to fund the community colleges, but the lack of money could mean students will find longer registration lines and longer waits for services.
Did someone from the College District say that the rejection of the tax increase would hurt students? Nope. In fact, the only source quoted in the story actually debunks the main premise of the story.
There will be no big cuts, according to Debra Thompson, vice chancellor for business services, because the $1.62 billion budget has $20.5 million more than last year, thanks to an unexpected bit of growth in revenue from new property.
That's right. The Community College system has a budget of $1.2 billion which means that the $7.6 million associated with the tax increase is a rounding error. But notice that even without the tax increase, the total revenue from property tax is $20.5 million higher than last year because of additional growth. So there's no problem because the amount of money has actually increased.
At this point, the reporter could have written the story straight. She could have written that property tax revenues are higher than expected so the Board saw no need to increase the tax rate and that services aren't expected to be affected because the district will actually have more money available than it did last year. Instead she chose to make up a scenario and then write that it "may" happen.
That's not journalism, it's creative writing--and creative writing should at least be funny or maybe even rhyme.