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Grow Ellsworth County Responds to False and Damaging Article on NewsBreak.com

Ellsworth, Kansas  |  4.5.24

In response to a recent article published on NewsBreak.com titled "7 Kansas Towns People Are Fleeing As Soon As Possible," Grow Ellsworth County is taking a stand against false and damaging reporting that misrepresents our community and its economic vitality.

The article, authored by journalist Dorothy Canelas, a journalist from Dallas, Texas whose profile reads “Dorothy is dedicated to providing accurate and timely information to keep the community informed,” falsely claims that Ellsworth is experiencing an economic downturn due to the closure of the correctional facility. This assertion is not only inaccurate but also undermines the efforts and successes of our community, including a recent annual meeting celebrating the many successes of Ellsworth County, and a milestone achievement of financing $1.3 million in gap funding for start-up businesses and expansions in the last 3 years.

Contrary to the article's claims, the Ellsworth Correctional Facility remains operational, housing 749 residents and employing 296 people. Far from experiencing a downturn, Ellsworth County is thriving, with ongoing discussions about the need for additional housing to accommodate our growing population.

Furthermore, the article failed to adhere to fundamental journalistic principles of accuracy, fairness, and transparency. Neither our office nor the Ellsworth Correctional Facility's Public Information Officer were contacted for verification, demonstrating a blatant disregard for ethical reporting practices.

The Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics outlines the importance of seeking truth, minimizing harm, acting independently, and being accountable and transparent. Journalist Dorothy Canelas's reporting falls short of these ethical standards, particularly in the minimization of harm to our community, as Grow Ellsworth County’s efforts to market the community as a community of the future and a community of choice has been a part of its integral initiatives. 

As a leading local news app with purported 45+ millions of monthly active users, NewsBreak has a responsibility to provide accurate and trustworthy information to its audience. We call upon NewsBreak and Dorothy Canelas to retract the false article and issue a public apology for the harm caused to Ellsworth and its residents.

“Ellsworth Correctional Facility works very hard to promote our fine facility, our excellent staff, and our amazing community.  The inaccuracy within this article is damaging to all.  We can be contacted at any time to discuss facts for future articles at 785-472-6209, or at Carolyn.graves@ks.gov,” said Public Information Officer for the facility Carolyn Graves.

Ellsworth County remains committed to fostering an environment of growth, opportunity, and prosperity for all its residents. We will continue to celebrate our successes and confront misinformation that seeks to undermine our progress.

For media inquiries or further information, please contact:

Stacie Schmidt

Executive Director

Grow Ellsworth County

785.472.9204

ewcountyeconomicdevelopment@gmail.com

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