April 12, 2024
Picture of a megaphone on a table next to a box of tissues.

A recent article on FOX Bangor’s website about a landlord’s frustration with a trashed apartment highlights the dangers of irresponsible reporting. While landlords can certainly face challenges, this article pushes a damaging stereotype and misses the complex reality of our housing crisis. Let’s break it down.

Problem #1: The Mystery Author

This article lacks a byline, leaving readers questioning who wrote it. Did a reporter cover this story, or did a landlord send a press release? Anonymous authorship in journalism undermines credibility.

Problem #2: One Case Doesn’t Make a Trend

No tenant should cause excessive damage to a rental property. In this instance, the tenant’s actions were unacceptable and create a real hardship for the landlord. However, focusing on one negative example obscures the wider reality. Many low-income tenants are responsible, struggling to keep up with rising rents in substandard housing. Are landlords investing enough in maintenance? Why are low-income residents being priced out in the first place? The article fails to ask these critical questions.

Problem #3: Who Suffers When Rents Rise?

The landlord claims he’ll need to raise rent to cover damages, making the unit unaffordable. This ignores how rising housing costs displace vulnerable families, fueling homelessness. We need journalism that explores these consequences, not just landlord complaints.

Let’s Talk About Real Issues:

  • Exploitative Landlords: Many tenants face unfair rent hikes, unsafe conditions, or illegal evictions. Where’s the outcry for their stories?
  • Stagnant Wages: Renters’ income hasn’t kept pace with housing costs for decades. Raising rent only forces people into deeper poverty.
  • Lack of Housing Options: Building more affordable housing, not demonizing those in need, is the true solution.

Conclusion:

Lazy reporting that caters to specific interests hurts us all. We need media that investigates, asks hard questions, and holds those in power accountable – including landlords who violate tenant rights. Demand better journalism on housing issues. Our community’s future depends on it.