John Sharp’s Paper — The Martin City Telegraph

In the last election, John Sharp’s political action committee, Southland Progress (SP), endorsed Michael Brown for the Junior College District race, but Chris Benjamin won. In the Center School District board of education race, Gayla Smith won, though not endorsed by SP. In the Grandview School District, Joshua Hill, who was also not endorsed by SP, won. In the Hickman Mills School District, Beth Boerger won even though SP didn’t endorse her.

Rather than admitting that his power is slipping, John Sharp used his “article” in the previous issue of the Martin City Telegraph to editorialize about the failure of one of his candidates, ranting about a supposed email that was sent out bad mouthing his candidates in the Hickman Mills school board race. Yet, the current issue (April 27, 2022) of the Martin City Telegraph fails to address this editorializing.

The Martin City Telegraph is guilty of a breach of journalistic ethics: John Sharp is a political operative for Southland Progress and other political clubs, yet this is never disclosed by the Telegraph. They are allowing him to pass himself off as a journalist, even as he editorializes about the election. He and the Martin City Telegraph need to decide whether he is going to be a journalist or an editorialist. If he does choose the latter, he should make clear his political affiliations. If the former, the paper needs to make sure he understands the difference between the two.

John Sharp’s time is drawing to a close. He now lives in the 5th city council district and it seems highly unlikely Councilwoman Ryana Parks-Shaw will appoint him to any more city positions. (He now serves as a 6th district representative on the Public Improvements Advisory Council.) No more city positions to let him roam city hall and backing losing candidates seems a fitting end to his 50-year-long political career.