Letter to the editor – fundamentals of journalism


Dear Editor,

I’m writing in response to the piece entitled “Fundamentals of Journalism” by Victor Lachance in the June 10, 2020 edition of the North Grenville Times.

I agree with Victor Lachance that the North Grenville Times is an asset to our community. With the demise of many small local newspapers, the paper plays a crucial role in keeping the residents of North Grenville informed about what’s going on in the community. I therefore hesitate to be critical.

Now that the subject has been raised, however, I have to say that I have always been annoyed and disturbed and by David Shanahan’s “articles” proclaiming his religious beliefs. I feel that these articles take away from the paper’s credibility and are not in keeping with the rest of the paper’s content. I think I can safely say that Victor Lachance and myself are not the only readers who find them distasteful.

As far as the question:

“Can an Editor not express an opinion in his or her own paper?”, I agree with Victor Lachance that he or she certainly can (perhaps not so frequently or at such length), provided that it’s identified as an opinion.

Perhaps a column could be started for a discussion of matters of personal religious or spiritual beliefs. It could be called something like “What I Believe” and readers could be invited to submit their opinions on the subject. This would acknowledge that there are many different beliefs and that we are all entitled to them.

David Shanahan’s faith is obviously strong, but his views are not shared by all readers of the North Grenville Times, myself included. Personally, I don’t think that any religious beliefs can be proven and that a newspaper is not the place to sermonize. We need to keep an open mind and respect the faith and beliefs of others.

Jennifer Charles
Oxford Mills


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