Journalists should put aside their own beliefs

Journalism has evolved greatly and redefined itself since the early 1700s. What began as a means of advertisement for political parties now strives to provide objective and informative news to readers.

A journalist must gather information, craft a concise story from an abundance of facts and interviews and present the final piece without bias. Objectivity is the ideal goal. However, some goals are not meant to be reached nor conquered. The purpose of objectivity is not to numb writers of their own emotions or beliefs, but to challenge journalists to present all points of view fairly in each story.

Expression is essential for humans, even journalists. It is human nature to feel compelled to share beliefs, opinions and emotions. Unfortunately, if objectivity becomes lost somewhere between the research and final revisions of an article, how can a reader be expected to form their own decisions on a matter?

Bias, even unconscious bias, is influential. A question unintentionally phrased so that it anticipates a specific answer or pressures the interviewee to respond differently than the truth, taints the information for news consumers. The audience can no longer base a valid opinion upon the words published.

That being said, it is the job of the reader to obtain their information from more than one source. Be critical, engaged and curious.

By finding a genuine interest in each person who is interviewed and double-checking that various perspectives are presented fairly in an article, journalists take a step toward objectivity. The best thing a journalist can do is put aside (his or her) political, social and personal beliefs to allow readers to develop their own.

Caitlin Tompkins

West Linn

Just say ‘no’ to recall

We have lived in West Linn since 1978 and believe that the current West Linn City Council has been doing a very good job and does not deserve to be the target for recall.

Having led a recall campaign for a West Linn school board member nearly 20 years ago, you need to have very good reason(s) to get anyone recalled. This effort to recall Mayor John Kovash, Councilors Jenni Tan, Mike Jones and Jody Carson is ill conceived, ill-timed and without merit.

Together this group has repaired the damage done from monies stolen by a staff member and garnered accolades for their stewardship of this city. Their collective selfless efforts have made our city a better place to live.

The amount of time they give to this city means less time with loved ones. How many of you would be willing to do that?

Decisions are hard to make and they do an excellent job and should be able to concentrate on moving this city forward, not looking over their shoulders for the second-guessers.

Just say “no” to recall!

Tom Loun

West Linn

City has come a long way

Last week, I listened to Mayor John Kovash deliver his annual “State of the City” address at the West Linn Public Library. It is comforting to know that our financial house is in order. West Linn has an award-winning budget document, financial stability and one of the lowest tax rates in the region.

The city has come a long way in the last four years, thanks in part to the leadership of Mayor Kovash and the current city council.

Jim Morton

West Linn

Contract Publishing

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