MTYT: Using full disclosure to give a report

By Gary McNair - bio|email

'Full disclosure.' Those sure are powerful words.  Words our newsroom tries to live by.

Our business sometimes is about shining a light in corners that may be operating in the dark.  We believe it's important for people to have all the information -- even if it makes for uncomfortable situations, and we had one of those recently.

A man named Brian Causey was one of four people to be implicated in a real estate scheme.  He pleaded guilty.  Here's the dilemma.  Brian's father, Sid Causey, is the former sheriff and now commissioner candidate in New Hanover County.

So we introduced Brian in many of our stories as "son of the former sheriff."  And we heard from a lot of viewers.  Some said we were trying to derail Sid Causey's campaign and put him in a bad light even though Sid isn't the guilty party here.  Others told us they thought we weren't covering the story enough and that's because they thought we were trying to cover it up to help Sid Causey's campaign.

Neither assumption is correct.  All things being equal, we have to go with full disclosure.

And in the interest of full disclosure, I serve on a non-profit board with Sid Causey and I have the utmost respect for him.  I'm sorry he has to deal with this.  But I feel certain we've handled it the right way.

That's My Turn.  Now it's Your Turn.  To comment on this segment, or anything else, email me at

Copyright 2010 WECT. All rights reserved.