Mariner blogs

Posted by me on the Mariner Facebook page 4/14/13:

“After defending your control of the “pool rules”, re: comments to the online articles, in my comment to Peter Wood’s letter, I am disappointed to learn that you have pulled down  all comments to your editorial about the police chief position. If you are going to take a side, it seems to me that good and fair journalism requires that all legitimate comment be allowed and heard. This appointment is important. The history of the Department and the individuals involved is relevant. The issue is not a slam dunk. Let your readers be heard.”

Among the Community Newspaper group, there seems to be a wide difference amongst editors of the various publications as to how the “pool rules” on comments to articles online are enforced. I have had clients disgustingly vilified by anonymous hacks on the Enterprise, a process not stopped until, coincidentally or not, a call from me as an attorney. Other local papers in my experience have had varying degrees of enforcement. I have no problem with individual attacks, not backed up by facts or arguable as opinion, being pulled from comments, even though I believe the publication itseld bears no liability for the comment. Especially so if the author hides behind anonimity. But let’s not throw out the baby with the bath water. Other comments, legitimate, measured opinion, even if in disagreement with the editorial, need to and should be heard. A newspaper, in my view, has a public trust to present all news and opinion, not just its opinion. There is hardly unanimity of opinion on the police chief issue. Let the town hash out the issue and determine its own destiny. – Tom Callahan

© Copyright 2013 Tom Callahan, All rights Reserved. Written For: Tinytown Unleashed