Journalistic integrity

Posted: Sunday, January 13, 2002

I'm writing in defense of the "International Criminal" which Mr. Smith mentioned in his editorial, "Tongass, the healthiest forest in North America." Yes, Jake Kreilick was arrested in Borneo, which in the early '90s was losing its rainforest at a disturbing rate. The Penan tribe who live in the forest were losing their home and means to provide for themselves. The tribal members were being harassed by Malaysian authorities and thrown in jail for protesting to preserve their culture. Jake was arrested standing side-by-side with a people defending their home and heritage. He risked his freedom and well-being to help stop an injustice being done to an ancient people.

I would like to thank Empire reporter Joanna Markell for her unbiased coverage of the release of "America's 10 Most Endangered National Forests Report," which was the reason for Krelick's visit. All we asked on our "well-orchestrated, whirlwind tour to capture headlines," (also know as a press conference) was to be heard and treated with journalistic integrity.

The Empire did that and it is a tribute to the professionalism of Mr. Smith's staff. And perhaps even a tribute to Mr. Smith for airing his opinions on the editorial page instead of attempting to compromise the integrity of his staff's reporting.

Kevin T. Myers

Sierra Club staff member

Juneau



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