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Is NVN returning to former community-divisive ways?


Michael Wagar
Photo courtesy: Nisqually Valley News

Last month, Nisqually Valley News (NVN) Editor/Publisher Michael Wagar was acknowledged on this blog “for what he has done to transform his newspaper into one of fair reporting on all aspects of our community” and that he “promised a newspaper providing “balance, honesty and respect” and has delivered.

With his newspaper’s Question of the Week soliciting Facebook comments to the following question, one has to question if Wagar is returning the NVN to his predecessor’s ways:

“The Seattle P-I removed the word “cult” from its headline about the Romanian couple arrested in Yelm last week after receiving an email from the Ramtha School of Enlightenment pointing out the couple was arrested in their home, not at RSE, and arguing the word “cult” doesn’t accurately describe the school.

Do you think RSE is a cult?”

I suggest Wagar is smart enough to know that publishing this would be a divisive question with:
1. anti-RSE commentators led by the fine “Christian” Pastor Jeff Adams on his crusade against RSE’s leader JZ Knight, aided and abetted by his minions of former RSE students against the school
vs.
2. the huge numbers of RSE students worldwide who appreciate their work in the Yelm-based school.

At Press Time on Wednesday at 3pm, voting on the newspapers poll garnered over 90% saying the School is NOT a cult.

Fortunately, Wagar had some readers not involved with RSE step up to the plate with balanced and reasoned comments that really puts his question in perspective:

– Becca Robinson
I thought it was ridiculous that they felt the need to say “cult” in the articles.
If they had belonged to the Catholic Church or the Baptist church
it wouldn’t have said ” church members arrested” unless the church had been involved.
There has been no mention of the Ramtha school being involved in what the couple are being accused of doing.
They just happened to be members. I am not a member of Ramtha but I was irritated by the headline.

– Tyra Hanson Burgess
I do not attend RSE, by definition any group sharing like beliefs is a cult. Like the debate team, or the Seahawks and their fans. The community, a lot of them RSE students, is amazing. The woman in the mug shot [Diana Nemes] is an awesome mom, friend and community member.

– Aimee L. Ross
The story is about the two people arrested, who cares if they went to the Ramtha school ? How about the story of their children and the lives that were upturned and damaged? Don’t worry though, I am sure you will find another way to create more of a rift between a community instead of reporting important news.

– As this Blogger wrote on the NVN posting:
This NVN question reminded me of former Publisher/Editor Graves’ tactics.
Come on, the NVN has to know they would get polarized answers.
Perhaps the reason is to get hits to their website to show numbers to advertisers, for which a question like this always garners for the newspaper.

And interestingly,
The Olympian, Tacoma News Tribune and the Seattle Times chose NOT to carry the Romanian couple’s story, to date. [see The Olympian report published at 4pm today.]

Isn’t omission one tactic used to distort a story?
If so, interesting then the NVN omitted that RSE asked them to change their story’s sub-title from:
“RSE connected”
to
“RSE students connected” –
which they DID change!

AND, the NVN has made no mention of this major Yelm event
to date of one of the world’s leading UFO experts coming to speak in Yelm this Saturday, open to the public and heralded in full-page ads placed by RSE in their newspapers. This is a huge event for Yelm.
I suggest a better NVN question this week for this community could have been:
“Do you believe in UFOs.”

To quote Brendan Williams, Olympia Disabilities’ advocate, attorney & former State Rep., recently in The Olympian,
I don’t know Knight. But many of those who subscribe to her beliefs run businesses and are engaged, productive citizens who add value to Thurston County. I encourage, and welcome, their participation in our democracy, whatever my personal feelings about their beliefs.”

Blog writer Steve Klein has been employed by RSE for 11+ years and a Yelm resident for 25+ years.

Posted by Steve on March 27, 2014 at 6:59 am | Permalink

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