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Balance often missing in news

DEAR EDITOR:

The Sunday, Jan. 12, column titled, “Context, balance key in good reporting” caught my eye.

Regarding the Sandmann controversy, you stated that it “was difficult for you to find any national media reporting a complete and balanced story.”

If you struggled and were frustrated as a professional journalist, imagine how frustrated and difficult it is for a nonprofessional reader.

People recognize the crucial importance of a free press to preserve our Democratic Republic. Ideally the press provides facts that help us make informed choices. As you suggest, straight news articles provide context, are objective and describe what, who, how, where and when, leaving the conclusions to readers.

Today’s national media blame President Trump for their low standing. Trump capitalizes on the public’s lack of trust, but he is not the cause. The public’s perception of the press began long before Trump, and some of the reasons are captured in your editorial.

Studies show more conservatives than liberals are skeptical of the national press. Studies show that the overwhelming majority of journalists vote Democrat. The nuanced vitriol in AP Trump articles seep off the pages. His accomplishments are understated, ignored or buried in back pages, especially about our robust economy.

Most recently, national news coverage of Iran is slanted, not objective, nor presented in context. Iran’s hatred for the USA is not caused by the killing of Iran’s Major General Soleimani; the hatred predates this action and our president by 40 years.

The old Vindicator’s “Our Voice” used the word “cult” to label strong supporters of our duly-elected President Donald Trump. “Our Voice” endorsed Barack Obama over John McCain in 2008, Obama over Mitt Romney in 2012, and Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump in 2016. The “old” Vindicator leadership had the right to endorse whomever they believed was the best candidate. I disagreed strongly in their endorsements, but I did not refer to that newspaper as a “cult.” That language divides us and is a barrier to free speech and civil discourse.

“Our Voice” was neither fair nor balanced.

Congratulations. With new leadership, the current Vindy is more fair and balanced, and I am extremely thankful for that.

JOE LOCICERO

Canfield

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