Around this time of year, we get pleas or at least suggestions that when our fair city is overrun with tourists, the Herald might be so kind as to keep all “bad” news out of the paper, or at the very least, off the front page.
That way we can somehow continue the illusion that only good things happen in Leadville. (Wonder if that’s how the concept of “fake news” got started?)
We, of course, aren’t going to do this, but this season we thought we’d shift the responsibility. We’d like the individuals who are likely to do the bad things on which we report to cease and desist, at least while the tourists are here. If everyone behaves, then there’s nothing to write that might injure the sensibilities of those visiting this town.
So much for that.
We’ve had some disturbing things happen in this community. This doesn’t make it unlike other communities.
Every one is entitled to their own opinion. Everyone is entitled to state what they think publicly.
People should be voicing their own opinions in any way they wish. We do have a problem with people voicing their opinions of what other people should say or do (or print). After all, one opinion is generally just as legitimate as another. But we do understand the compulsion to attack what others believe. It’s almost become the American pastime in the past few years.
And we understand the compulsion to try and direct what is or is not printed in the newspaper.
We recall when we ran a number of letters about an event here that many did not like. One of the people running the event called and started arguing with us about having printed those letters. We tried to explain the concept of free speech, to no avail.
”If you print things critical of us, that means you are critical of us,” we were told. Apparently the fact that the original letters generated other letters that praised the organization, which we of course printed, didn’t matter.
We believe that news is neither good nor bad. If you accept that news is simply a report of recent events, there should be no argument here.
If you believe that a newspaper is also a public relations agency, then we have a problem. Those of us who have worked in public relations know two things about it. First, a lot of the job is coming up with ways to hide the bad stuff. Second, doing this successfully pays quite well.
We like to think that we’re in the truth business, and quite frankly truth doesn’t pay nearly as well as PR. Unless, of course, you value your integrity. Can’t put a price on that.