Facts are too important to ignore | Editorial

Why the Snoqualmie councilmembers’ letter was not published this week.

  • Friday, August 23, 2019 1:30am
  • Opinion

Readers may remember my recent editorial, “Transparency, accountability too important to sacrifice,” published on Aug 2.

In that editorial, I noted my concerns about a new public records policy at the city of Snoqualmie and suggested that voters should ask challenging candidates where they stand on transparency.

The editorial elicited a response from the city councilmembers named in the piece.

Those councilmembers have penned a letter to the editor, and they had asked for it to be published this week.

In reviewing the letter I’ve noted factual inaccuracies and I have asked the representing councilmember to correct those inaccuracies before I publish the letter. I gave the councilmembers more than one opportunity and even suggested a potential edit that maintained their bias but was still truthful.

Today, that letter is not published. The representative councilmember refuses to revise the factual inaccuracies and has decided to grandstand, accusing the Valley Record of censorship.

Not printing lies in a newspaper is not censorship — it’s simply ethically responsible. The newspaper is a place for fact.

It has been my intent since I received the letter (and before the letter was received in anticipation of receiving the letter) that it would run in the Valley Record. That intent has not changed. I intend to share their countering opinion — their rebuttal — as soon as possible. The only requirement is that rebuttal must be factually accurate. (Until then, the councilmembers have posted their letter to social media, and it has been shared in several locations, so it’s out in the world and available to the general public.)

Shouldn’t the city councilmembers — local lawmakers — also be focused on staying factually accurate?

I feel that my position on this issue is reasonable and responsible. I hope readers agree.

In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@valleyrecord.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.valleyrecord.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

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William Shaw is General Manager of the Snoqualmie Valley Record. Contact: wshaw@valleyrecord.com.
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