Readers deserve better
December 21, 2023
To The Eagle:
Factual and unbiased reporting has always been the foundation of responsible journalism. When political bias infiltrates the journalistic process, we end up with claims of “fake news” and a general distrust of what is being reported.
In her recent column [from Oct. 26], Eagle reporter Karen Bertroch trampled across the boundaries of professional journalism into the territory of political activism. Clearly, in her column she is campaigning in favor of the upcoming levy for the Naselle-Grays River Valley School District. Stumping for a political cause and passing it off as “news” is both unprofessional and unethical; editors should recognize this and take corrective action before publication. Corrections after publication are “too little, too late.”
Bertroch reported about the NGRVSD Board approving a resolution at their November meeting for a replacement levy on the February ballot. Conveniently, she omitted from her report that the Board also appointed her as the sole member of the committee to draft the “for” statement for the voter’s pamphlet. That this committee appointment conflicts with her responsibility to provide unbiased reporting on the school district should not be lost on readers, but conflict of interest isn’t anything new when it comes to matters related to the district.
Accurate reporting on local government business and actions is a critical role for our local newspaper; there have previously been multiple complaints about the accuracy of reporting on the Naselle-Grays River Valley school board. Readers deserve better.