Don’t shoot messenger of real local news

Left, right and in between, we will cover the news here, there and everywhere for the residents of Baraga, Houghton, Keweenaw and Ontonagon counties no matter where it falls in the spectrum of politics, values systems or worldviews. On that you can rely.

This newspaper will continue to report local news and news involving local people despite being subjected to criticism and accusations for reporting it. We are accused of bias, writing “fake” news (a new charge now being made by the same crowd that invented fake news), sensationalizing, cheerleading, tarnishing reputations and images, distorting reality and other charges that, given the circumstances, are ridiculous on their face.

Here’s just one example: We printed a recent story informing people about a march by Michigan Tech in support of foreign residents of the university community in light of the Trump administration’s order blocking entry of certain people into the United States.

The story’s title and frame was printed in blue, and the background of the text was red faded to white in the middle. Red, white and blue. The color of our Stars & Stripes.

Some readers called and complained. All they could see was red. The red was too similar to the color worn by the hats of some of the marchers of the local Women’s Rights march across the Portage Lake Lift Bridge a week before — a completely separate event about a completely different subject. Yet we were showing our bias by using that color.

We’ve also received calls and emails from readers stating they are sick of our march to cover marches. Enough already.

So in effect, they’re demanding we suppress expressions of free speech that are occurring right in your own community. That’s not going to happen. We’re “biased” in reporting when people are exercising their constitutional rights. We’re kind of funny that way.

Anytime there are folks getting together, whether it is 10 or 10,000, to walk with signs in the public eye, we will cover it. Personally, we might march to a different set of ideals than these causes, but we will cover it — not only because it’s freedom in action, but because we have a responsibility to our readers to inform them of what is going on in their community.

These truth complainers demand censorship of demonstration coverage only because they disagree with the cause. We’re not in the censorship game. We play on the First Amendment team.

If you want to change what is printed on our news pages, get your people together, take up a sign and get out there and do something about it — be seen, be heard, be read.

If you can’t find enough like-minded peoplewith the gumption to join you, you can always write a letter to the editor and express your views for free in a letter to the editor. Yet many of these people don’t even have the courage of their convictions to do that.

And they call our reporting of the truth sad.

A Daily Mining Gazette editorial