A Valley News Publication

The Valley News in West Lebanon, N.H.

Please, please, please, read the whole Valley News editorial; not just the headline, not just the tweet and not just the first three grafs, which I have copied and pasted below: 

For many years it has been the general practice here at the Valley News not to respond in kind to critics of our coverage, even when the paper’s motives and good faith are questioned. The working theory is that journalists are not and should not be in the business of getting into public arguments; that we expect public figures to have a thick hide, and it is unbecoming to display a thin skin when they push back; and, most of all, that our coverage rises or falls on its own merits, as determined by the readers we serve, not on the opinion of those whom we cover.

 

And while the Valley News publishes the work of other news organizations, it does not assist in the planning or preparation of those stories and generally avoids coordinating its efforts in any way with other media outlets, except occasionally in sharing the costs of mounting expensive court challenges. The reasoning is that the public interest is best served when independent news organizations pursue their own priorities, projects and interests, thus providing a wide range of news and opinion.

 

Today, we depart from these customary stances, albeit reluctantly, to answer The Boston Globe’s call for newspapers across the country to respond to President Donald Trump’s scurrilous attacks on journalists and journalism.

(Full disclosure: I am a member of the Valley News editorial board.)

You can read the editorial from The Boston Globe, who led the call for editorials, at this link. That page also includes a collection of editorials from around the country; the list is being updated throughout the day.

Other papers who penned editorials published today include two of our sister papers, The Concord Monitor and the Daily Hampshire Gazette, of Northampton, Mass., and at least two Vermont newspapers: the Hardwick Gazette and The Commons, of Brattleboro.

You can also check out the #FreePress hashtag on Twitter.

Not everybody is participating. The Los Angeles Times editorial board wrote that their decision to abstain “is not because we don’t believe that President Trump has been engaged in a cynical, demagogic and unfair assault on our industry. He has, and we have written about it on numerous occasions.”

But, the board said, it “decided not to write about the subject on this particular Thursday because we cherish our independence.”

And here’s another perspective from Al Tompkins, The Poynter Institute’s senior faculty for broadcasting and online.