Editorializing the news

To The Editor:

Readers sometimes criticize the Caledonian-Record for editorializing on the news pages of the paper. Is the criticism justified? Judge for yourself.

In the Wednesday April 30 edition on the front page above the fold (considered the most prime real estate for weighty news topics in any paper) one finds the headline "Huge water problems brewing" , followed by Taylor Reed's by-line. The lead paragraph of the story reads "Hold onto your pocketbooks utility customers." At the bottom of the front page below the fold is the story by Robert Blechl titled "Industrial park returns 10-1 on investment." The first two sentences of the story: "By most accounts, a 10-to-1 return on your investment is more than impressive. In 2014, Littleton is expected to see just that."

I understand that one job of an editor is to write eye-grabbing headlines, that can be catchy, sensational and even editorial. I have no complaint about this. It may be just my naïve belief that another job of the editor is to make sure the authors of the articles do fair and unbiased reporting, present only accurate and verified information in clear, grammatical and understandable prose, and refrain from editorial commentary, either their own or that of their employer.

The C-R is a constant critic of government-run endeavors and spending, be they at the federal, state or municipal level. The C-R sometimes seems to be in love with NH, gushing about its successes and low-key to blind about its shortcomings. Both of these C-R fixations make it beyond the headlines into the news content of the two cited articles.

In my view the Caledonian-Record routinely earns and deserves criticism for letting its socio-political perspective seep into the news content of the paper. Is it reasonable for readers to expect the C-R editorial staff to minimize this, and confine the paper's opinions to the Editorial Page? It is possible that the editors were out sick or on vacation on April 29, accounting for these two glaring examples slipping into print on the 30th. Somehow I doubt it.

Lenny Gerardi

St. Johnsbury, Vt.

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