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NVN reader’s perspective on newspaper’s “bias” in candidate donations poll

The poll results and largest majority of comments on the Nisqually Valley News (NVN) Facebook page
show the newspaper is out of line with this Question of the Week:

JZ Knight raised criticism in the past for political donations. She has again donated money to the Thurston County Democrats in this election cycle.
Do you have any objections to her financially supporting candidates? Why or why not? Some comments might be included in an upcoming Nisqually Valley News edition.

Click here for the poll.

THE MOST articulate comment yet in response to NVN’s poll question.
Used with permission by the author, Calence Ethan Emerson, posted on the newspaper’s Facebook page:
“Speaking from a 16-year background in Web Marketing, Search Engine Optimization and having run my own magazine as well as client social media accounts for years, I will tell you exactly why this question was posed here, and at its deepest root has nothing to do with JZ, nor her contributions.

All newspapers depend on people to buy paper copies, and read articles online since it is their advertisers who are paying their bills. If people stop buying the paper, the newspaper will go out of business and many people will have to find a new job, and that can be terrifying for people with established careers. Nothing exciting happens in this town, save for a missing goat, crying cows, Wal-Mart running out of pickles, or a couple of cats duking it out in the yard, so what could possibly keep readers paying that 75 cents for this paper? Drama.

Online, certain search engines take social signals from Facebook and Twitter into account when ranking websites in the search results pages. The more activity you can create on Facebook, the more value, authority, and weight your website is given. So posing this question is purely a bait tactic to create more “activity” on Facebook, with the implied promise that someone may get their comments published in the paper. It’s a basic marketing formula.

At the heart of the matter, this isn’t about JZ, and it has never been about JZ. This is about a paper struggling to maintain readership – a paper run by people who only know how to incite gossip and drama in order to maintain their readership. This paper is preying on the mass consciousness of the people who only want to be entertained for a brief moment before returning to their TV dinners and sitcoms.

The question posted here is not one that comes from someone who wants resolution. And resolution will never come from social media discussions.

If anyone from the NVN were truly concerned about JZ and/or her contributions, they would quietly make a phone call to her, and request a meeting to discuss the issue personally. They would ask lots of questions to find out why she supports who she does, not to counter what she says, but to truly understand. That’s what people do when they are honestly concerned about something or someone. That’s what true communication is.

On the contrary, when someone chooses to publicly “express” their distaste and disapproval, never bothering to personally connect with the people they seemingly have an issue with, that’s an indication that it’s just someone living out their humanity’s tendency to want to complain.

NVN, If you want to talk about JZ giving money to the Democrats, let’s first talk about the money her associate, Matt, gave you when he published his full spread in your paper. How do you feel about taking money from someone you do not support and vehemently oppose? Whose salary did Matt pay for? How much food did his contribution to your paper put on that table?

If you, NVN, really had an issue with JZ and her associates, you never would have allowed Matt’s full page response spread to be published as the first article seen when you open the paper in the September 30th issue. If you really, truly believed they are bad people, you would not have published Matt’s beautiful article defending his character and reputation. This is why it’s clear to me that you’re just trying desperately to hang onto your readers and make payroll.

Imagine that – a paper that published a trash article about someone happily accepted their money to publish their response. This is all just a game to the NVN.

There’s one important thing about all of this that is being severely overlooked. The NVN is condemning someone who is on the front lines of this community, every day, Being, Teaching, and modeling Integrity to the highest degree, and changing people’s lives on a daily basis. And teaching the people in this community how to move beyond their need to dominate, control, and manipulate people for an emotional rise.

With all the money and time that goes into writing these inciting prompts and articles, wouldn’t it make more sense to utilize that time and money to publish that which lifts people up and encourages them to live and follow their dreams? To be bigger than they have imagined themselves to be? To support people with transparent displays of kindness, love, acceptance, generosity, and integrity?

If there are editors and writers on staff with the NVN who know in their hearts that what this paper is doing is unacceptable, you may want to ask yourself what you are committed to? A paycheck? Or your own integrity?

At some point in your life, perhaps when you were in college, or even high school, you wanted to be a journalist or an editor, and you probably dreamed of the day you would be published in a popular newspaper. You had a big dream that you wanted to pursue. You were passionate about something. You wanted to express something powerful to the world. You wanted to impact people and change their lives. What happened to that dream? What happened that turned you away from being the objective journalist, and how did you become caught up in all of this drama? Yes, you have mouths to feed and bills to pay, but at what cost?

To the NVN writers and editors who know in their hearts that this is corrupt, perhaps you don’t realize how much power you are wielding being in the position you are in. Did you know that you have the power to shape and form people’s opinions like clay? Many people hang on every word they read. That level of power comes with a responsibility you haven’t accepted yet.

If you know that what this paper has become is despicable, I invite you to step up and be that person you set out to be all those years ago as a true journalist. This paper has a duty to this community to be righteous, and a trustworthy news source, or it shouldn’t exist at all.”

Posted by Steve on October 26, 2016 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

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One comment

  1. Fabulous article. Extremely well thought out and well written.

    Very evenly done.

    All so true!

    Comment by Din Wilkie on October 27, 2016 at 8:35 am

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