DUBOIS – Retired Courier-Express editor and publisher Denny Bonavita concluded that, “the job of journalism is to serve as a check upon power,” during his presentation at the DuBois Area Historical Society’s 36th annual Dinner.
Bonavita, drawing upon his 50-plus years in newspaper work, spoke about “fake news” by tracing the relationship of United States presidents and the media.
He explained there “the media” does not exist, because all journalists do not have an organized objective.
“George Washington hated the press and cancelled 20 newspaper subscriptions when he was elected president,” said Bonavita about the first president’s relationship with journalists over 200 years ago.
From there he outlined various presidential experiences with print, radio and television newsmen, from newspapers publishing near slanderous accusations during elections to several presidents who had editors arrested for what was printed.
Evaluating President Donald Trump and his relationship with the media, Bonavita said, “It is contentious, but Trump is masterful at manipulation to further his agenda.”
“Truth emerges from the debate,” reminded Bonavita about the many news sources now available. “You should make your own decisions. Just because it is hard to find the truth doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make the effort. You should not hate those who come to an opposite conclusion.”
Bonavita also highlighted how he first came to his profession and the progress in reporting and publishing equipment during his time period.
He retired in 2013 as the editor and publisher of The Courier-Express in DuBois, and also of the Jeffersonian Democrat newspaper in Brookville and the Leader-Vindicator newspaper in New Bethlehem. He came to DuBois in 1990 as managing editor, became editor in 1998 and publisher in 2001.
A brief business meeting, presided over by Society President Ruth Gregori resulted in approval of the society’s proposed 2019 budget and re-election of nine people to the society’s board of directors.
Elected for two-year terms were: Tom Schott, second vice president; Gene Aravich, secretary; Jerry Watson, treasurer; Barb Emmer, director of genealogy; Anne Kosiba, director of museum/curator; Robin Powers, Huston Township representative; Ken Wiser, Falls Creek representative; Jean Hayes, Bloom/Brady Townships representative; and Mary Reilly, Treasure Lake representative.
The dinner was held at Christ Lutheran Church, DuBois, and was catered by Catering by Paulette.
Upcoming is the 11th annual DuBois Area Historical Society Spirit of DuBois Lantern Walk, which will explore the East Side of the City of DuBois on Saturday, Oct. 6.
The first tour leaves from the John E. DuBois Hose Company building at 5 p.m. Additional walks will leave every 15 minutes.
To make advance reservations for a specific walk time, telephone 814-371-4627 between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m.; if no answer, leave a message.
Tour groups will be limited to 20 people. Walk-ins are also welcome and will be assigned to the next available tour.
Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students, with children sixth grade and younger free if accompanied by an adult.