Letter: Rye Record’s coverage questioned

To the Editor,
In a small city like ours, most residents know that mayoral candidate Peter Jovanovich, the current deputy mayor, is married to Robin Jovanovich, the owner and publisher of The Rye Record. What people may not know is that Mr. Jovanovich maintains an office in the same suite as his wife and The Rye Record, at 14 Elm Place in downtown Rye. Peter also delivers The Rye Record to businesses all over town, ensuring its circulation and readership remain high, which bring in maximum advertising rates in return—$1,500 for a full-page ad. According to the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics, “Journalists should avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived” and above all “disclose unavoidable conflicts.” Unfortunately for Rye voters, throughout the course of her election coverage, Ms. Jovanovich has not made any disclosure of the fact that she is married to the deputy mayor, or that she serves on the city’s Board of Architectural Review. The BAR is the body that recently pushed to review the city’s zoning code in relation to floor-to-area-ratio. Her paper covered that story and published letters to the editor in support of the review of the law.

Recently, Mr. Jovanovich’s campaign manager, Matt Thomas, stated to the press that Peter has never worked as a paid employee of The Rye Record and currently has nothing to do with the business, as he has only written obituaries. A simple Google search reveals otherwise. In a 2009 interview with MyRye.com, Peter said one of his greatest contributions to Rye was “investigative reporting for The Rye Record on issues like the illegal dumping at Beaver Swamp Brook and the operating losses at Whitby Castle.” Too bad at his greatest he still missed the fraud that was taking place right under his investigative nose. Rye deserves honest and unbiased coverage of the issues and the campaigns for public office. For some, our newspapers are our only source for what is going on in Rye, and it is disingenuous for residents to read an article penned by Robin Jovanovich, or her employees without being made aware of her husband’s relationship to the paper.

Andrew Dapolite,
Rye