By Jenna Carlesso
Like most journalists, we at The Courant strive for accuracy in our reporting.
Last Monday, I wrote a story about large budget deficits projected for the coming years in Hartford. (Read it here.) After it ran, I heard it had ruffled some feathers (including those of Mayor Pedro Segarra). So on Wednesday, after a public budget meeting, I approached Jose Sanchez, Segarra’s budget director — who I had interviewed for the story — to ask if the story contained any incorrect information. His reply? “No.”
On Sunday, Segarra appeared on Channel 3’s “Face the State.” Host Dennis House mentioned the story, and asked the mayor: “How does that reality [of the deficits] play upon the people of the city? How will it impact their lives?” Segarra didn’t answer the question, instead calling the article “very inaccurate.” (Here’s the video.)
Huh? The budget director himself, who had supplied the figures used in the story, had already said the story contained no inaccuracies. (Here’s the budget forecast provided by the city: city budget forecast.)
After his State of the City speech yesterday, I asked the mayor what he thought was inaccurate in the story. “The inaccuracies were created by not painting a total picture,” Segarra said. “A lot of emphasis was placed on the deficits and not enough emphasis was placed on things done in the past to offset the deficits.”
Pressed on whether any numbers or other information in the story were wrong, he replied, “No.”
The city is facing staggering deficits in the years ahead, and residents have a right to know the facts.