On Nov. 24 a local Sydenham area resident was charged by OPP with impaired driving while participating in the Sydenham Santa Claus Parade. This information was released by South Frontenac OPP and reported over several days in many media forums.
While the charge against the accused cannot be condoned, the reporting and subsequent failure of some media (not Frontenac News) to provide an accurate, unbiased, and balanced description of the incident creates significant concerns. More importantly, the initial identification of the individual who was arrested was inaccurate and, unfortunately, led to prominent businessman and local citizen, John Trousdale, being identified as the person charged with the offence. To further exacerbate the problem, television broadcasts over 2 consecutive days provided photos of some of John’s businesses, thus further implicating him as the accused. This egregious error in reporting accuracy was later identified and corrected.
The Trousdale families have a long legacy and proud heritage in Sydenham, Kingston, and Frontenac County. John is a respected business person and entrepreneur who has followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather and his sons have now joined him in the many ventures the Trousdale family operates in the village. The reporter providing the on-sight television broadcast lamented about his failed attempt to interview over 20 people, and how they declined comment as they consider themselves friends of John and his family. This is obviously a testament to the relationship John has with the community. In addition to being the largest local employer in the area, John is also a major philanthropist and generously contributes freely to many causes including schools, church groups, and to numerous charities.
It is with hope that any media forums involved who have disparaged the reputation and name of John Trousdale and his family will make both a personal and public apology for their critical errors. It is also with hope that the integrity of good journalistic reporting will always follow the 5 core principles that include truth and accuracy; independence; fairness & impartiality; humanity; and accountability.