The letter to the Editor from John K. Black may raise a number of questions.
I have run John Black’s letters for nearly 20 years. He generally writes an incendiary letter that includes a number of provocative statements.
But I have also learned that there is often a thoughtful kernel at the core of his letters. In this case, the core may be our news coverage.
Simply put, it is impossible to cover everything in an area as large and diverse as San Juan County.
As a staff, we have to carefully determine what we can and can’t cover and then do our best to inform and entertain our readers.
While we do a great job on many fronts, I readily admit that we may fail on other fronts.
The economic realities of the newspaper industry increase the challenges.
Even so, we have taken aggressive steps in recent months to increase the news coverage in the San Juan Record.
Anna Thayn has covered the City of Monticello for many years. Now, Anna also covers health care, education and San Juan County.
We hope that the volume of news coverage in the paper will continue to increase. John Black is right, we do have a goal to increase news coverage in the paper.
I did not run two paragraphs that were the main focus of Black’s letter. They question our coverage, or lack of coverage, of two specific criminal stories that occurred in the past six months.
Our coverage of both instances referenced in Black’s letter are consistent with our stated policy. In one case, felony charges were not filed and in the other, the case was covered in a Felony Court Report.
I determined several years ago that I would follow specific guidelines in reporting crime stories. I think that the guidelines help us to fairly report crime stories and not randomly pick and choose what we report.
In general, the key is whether the charge is a misdemeanor or a felony. We will report on all the charges for someone charged with a felony. In general, we do not report if the charge is a misdemeanor or less.
If felony charges are filed, then expect that it will be reported. If not, then it may never make it into the pages of the San Juan Record.
Of course, while we reserve the right (and feel the obligation) to report anything that we feel is in the best interest of our readers, we have carefully followed the guidelines for more than a decade.
Enough said, as far as I am concerned. I understand that some readers may not agree.