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NEWSPAPER’S OMMISSIONS ABOUT FIRE AUTHORITY MISLEADS

This comment was submitted to the online edition of the Nisqually Valley News today in response to Megan Hansen’s reports about the Fire Authority:

While factually correct, omissions from your stories on the Southeast Thurston Fire Authority’s issues give the public a skewed perception.

Two cases in point:
1. In this story [where my comment was posted], you mentioned that Commissioner Devin resigned, however failed to report she did so to focus on regaining her health after treatment
for a serious disease. The implication for the uninformed relying on your newspaper for facts is that Devin bailed-out due to the department’s financial
issues, when nothing could be further from the truth.

2. In your front-page story on Nov. 4th, you mention the State auditing the Fire Authority, however no where do you say that this was a previously scheduled,
routine audit of the Yelm section of the Fire Authority. The next scheduled routine State audit will examine the entire Fire Authority. Your innuendo & implications
jeopardize the upcoming levy. To use a football term, you are “piling on” to the fire authority and the dedicated people they employ.
That you would endanger the levy that supports emergency responders, our friends and neighbors who are committed to public service, is beyond the pale.
Again, your omissions of the facts that these audits are routine and standard practice imply to the uninformed reader that some impropriety is going on
at SE Thurston Fire, especially after your Editor/Publisher’s op-ed Oct. 28 comparing the authority’s financial situation to that of the Yelm Cemetery.
Even the question of the week is another misleading implication not telling the full story.

Journalism requires public accountability, does it not? While I write a blog, I am no trained journalist.
Your readers have been told many times by your Editor/Publisher to expect more from a newspaper that differentiates its journalistic integrity with that of the local blogger.
Well, time to raise the bar to achieve that goal.

Posted by Steve on November 4, 2011 at 5:44 am | Permalink

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