Upham's Corner Online

Maxwell Flea Market - From the Editor's Desk

Posted: Thursday, October 7, 2010
Nancy J. Conrad

Upham's Corner News received both acclamation and criticism regarding the Maxwell Flea Market story.
  • Some readers thanked us for content fairness and accuracy.
  • Some readers asked why we had failed to fully investigate [the past].
Please Note:  We have elected to not print any of the reader comments.  Why?  The readers offering critical comments asked to NOT have their comments printed.  Printing only the positive comments appears to be biased, so we excluded all reader content.
As journalists we need to define the scope, then make sure our story/investigation falls within that scope. We chose to focus was on the flea market vendors (not Maxwell Products Corp) and what happened after the Department of Neighborhood Development took over property management of 65 E. Cottage St.

The flea market vendors operated towards the bottom of a multi-tier business structure. Maxwell Products Corp. rented space to Maxwell Flea Market, LLC who rented "booth" and business space to the vendors who received their income from the flea market customers.

So in our articles you will find us operating at the bottom levels - what customers said about the flea market and how the flea market owner interacted with her vendors.  Rarely did we mention Maxwell Products Corp, yet it is at this layer that some readers were up in arms.  "Why didn't we [blame]?"

Yes, there might very well be issues at that top layer.  That's the "parent" layer and our story was about "the kids."  Including "the parents" in a story about "the children" ? - rarely a good idea.

Arrow
Maxwell Products Corp
Arrow Maxwell Flea Market LLC
Arrow Flea Market Vendors (35)
Arrow Flea Market Customers
One of our readers intimated that Upham's Corner News was making the Department of Neighborhood Development into the scapegoat.  Nothing could be further from our intentions or what we wrote.

Often times it is the "messenger" who is blamed, in this case DND. What we found as we examined the facts is that DND attempted to keep the flea market running as long as they could while the Fire Department seemed to have been somewhat aloof. We have already made the point that the Fire Department making a courtesy call to DND might have led to a smother closure.

Again, our role is not to blame. We do, however, look to effect closure and healing.
One closing note: Our website hosting service provides traffic statistics.

  1. Without doubt Maxwell Flea Market was the most popular topic in issue #8 with the Fire Dept, Marcy Navarro and DND articles receiving the most visitors.

  2. Another sizeable (but lesser) chunk read both the recommendations and documents articles.
  These stats reflect the range of our readers --
  • Some interested in "stories" (what happened) and
  • Some interested in "problem solving" (recommendations and facts)
There is clearly room for both.

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