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An astute Yelm Community Blog reader wrote the following about Wednesday’s story titled “WAZZUP WITH THE LOCAL NEWSPAPER EDITOR/PUBLISHER ON THE DEFENSIVE?

By comparing the full letter as printed on this blog to the edited version in the NVN, we can readily determine which parts were excised, and thus infer which parts could have been considered “inflammatory”. I am including here only sections of more than a couple of words, and leave it to the reader to determine the level of inflammation for yourself:

“…According to the Editor, the purpose of the article was to ‘cover’ the After Hours event, not to promote the businesses that participated in the Chamber’s After Hours event. Of course, the very purpose of the After Hours event is to promote and introduce our businesses to members of the Chamber and the community at large. Imagine investing a significant amount of money to open a new business in perhaps the worst economic time in the past 76 years only to have the paper say that nothing appears to be for sale?…

…While I didn’t expect the article to mention the fact that we have four staff members or that we have recently applied for a $1Million grant to bring economic development to the City of Yelm, or that we are perhaps the most innovative business model in Yelm…

…To have the Editor tell me he doesn’t ‘get what we do’ is not a reason to print half the story but rather a reason to visit our business so that you might see what everyone else does; we are a service based
business that provides office services, hence the name, The Office…

…when I decided to open a business, I considered advertising in the paper. However, I was forewarned by members of the business community not to advertise in the paper because I simply would not see the return on my investment for the aforementioned reasons…

…While you may have found it a matter of your editorial rights, unfortunately for this paper, one of the very things we do at The Office is provide marketing and advertising consulting services which means we
will not be able in good conscience to recommend the paper as a source of advertising for any business we represent because it lacks integrity.”

On March 24, I emailed the following letter to the editor (with a personal copy to this blog’s host):

To the NVN editor:
Having moved from Yelm over three years ago, I use the NVN as one of my links back to my adopted home. I found it quite pleasing to see the history of Yelm being preserved in the new Yelm Museum.
It’s a testament to the sheer will of those involved in the project to go from locating the property and having the city buy it through construction and opening to the public. This certainly exhibits the power of focusing on a project and making it happen.
If it can be done for the museum, we can now do it for the Yelm Timberland Library. This community resource, much more widely used than the museum, will need have a new home in less than three years.
The museum came to life in a year. Why not the next library?

While I didn’t expect it to make it into that week’s issue, there have been two other issues published, and I have yet to see it printed. And as has been noted elsewhere, it’s not like the paper doesn’t need more material.
Perhaps my letter, too, was “too inflammatory” for the hometown news.

As you say at the beginning of this article: “Wazzup”?”

Commenter name: James Zukowski,

Posted by Steve on April 19, 2009 at 5:54 am | Permalink

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One comment

  1. Confession time…

    It seems that I also have lacked some integrity when I wrote this analysis. And yes, that’s Integrity as in “not whole,” as described in both versions of Ms. Brewer’s letter.

    My “miss” actually precedes the letter in the print version of the NVN. The editor’s heading for the letter is “Believes paper’s editor lacking in moral integrity“. He doesn’t say who is doing that believing for whatever reason, but it clearly isn’t the letter’s author. In her fifth paragraph, she explicitly states:

    Before you take offense as though I am “implying” that the editor lacks moral integrity, let me explain if I might.

    My apologies. I was focused on the content of the letter, not what got added after it got to the NVN offices.

    Comment by James Zukowski on April 18, 2009 at 9:25 pm

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