(originally published in the Fourth and One Fifth May 2014 issue)
An explanatory note: I sent a slightly longer version of this as an email to Northumberland News. I would have sent a similar email to Northumberland Today but there is no email address listed for the editor. My concern is that those who still read our local newspapers are being fed a highly slanted and incomplete version of what is actually occurring with our Port Hope municipal government. The reply from the writer said “We always ensure we are fair and balanced in our reporting”. What do you think?
“Please take this email in the vein of constructive criticism. I hope to start a dialogue that will hopefully result in more balance in your reporting of Port Hope municipal affairs.
I have been a Port Hope resident … for the past ten years. While you have usually provided more balanced reporting on Port Hope municipal affairs …, that balance seems to be eroding and has hit a new low point with your “article” on the 2014 budget. The reason that I hesitate to call it an article is that it is just a rework of segments of the press release from the municipality.
Consider the following
There have been rumours that the two papers have been “muzzled”, either directly by the town to stop unflattering reports, or by the papers themselves, to curry favour (and advertising dollars) with the council and municipal staff. Articles like this give credence to such rumours.