By Nicole Trigg
Its not often that I write editorials in the first person. In fact, since Ive become the Pioneers editor, there hasnt been an occasion to warrant it. But after a reader recently expressed dissatisfaction with our papers coverage of a local issue, I feel theres no time like the present.
The request put to me by this irate individual was to avoid publishing stories on topics where two sides dont agree. Instead, our paper should direct complaints to entities that are in a position to solve them. The accusation was that, by airing peoples grievances and concerns, our newspaper is contributing to community divisiveness and profiting from sensationalism.
Journalists need to have thick skin; otherwise we wouldnt survive in the world of media. But I have to admit these comments rattled me, to the point where I have to write about it.
Our staff at The Pioneer, from sales to graphic design to editorial, pride ourselves on offering balanced coverage. Our news team makes a point of chasing down both sides (or more) of every story that we write. If one side doesnt get back to us by press time, we run their comments the following week. If a reader disagrees with what they read in our newspaper, we welcome and run their letters to the editor. If the public contacts us because they have concerns about something happening in the community, we attempt to tell their story. This may get us in hot water from time to time, but thats our job. A community looks to its community paper as a neutral platform from which all points of view can be expressed, barring any that fall in the category of slander and libel, or those that contravene our policies (such as no letters to the editor by candidates leading up to an election, or letters advocating for or against candidates during the campaign season). Its an important role we take very seriously, because we believe it promotes communication and dialogue and community-building, and thats why were here. And if you disagree, write us a letter so we can give you a greater voice. Because thats what we do.