Deserving better

Posted: Monday, October 01, 2001

I come from a family of journalists. My editor-grandfather won the Associated Press award for writing the best editorial in the nation when President McKinley was assassinated in 1901; my father won the same national award in 1963 when President Kennedy was killed. While I particularly respect the demands of publishers and, indeed, of editorial writers, the Empire's recent coverage of our city's candidates has stymied even me.

While the candidates have been extremely respectful to each other amid a clean campaign, on Sept. 27 and 28 you chose to damage candidates and lower the campaign. Juneau residents recognize your oversimplified loaded journalism as they read your editorial trying to pigeonhole Dixie Hood with outdated ism overlays such as "isolationism," "activism," and "liberalism," along with other illogical and loaded language ("fuel perceptions..."). Such politically partisan antics certainly do not reflect a wise or well-schooled journalist.

Would you have us believe that Hood, with all her years here, does not care about the rest of Southeast or the state? She loves this state and knows the issues inside out. Perhaps that's what you meant by "inward." She has represented each of us, Democrats and Republicans, in meetings for years and recently won a statewide award for "Citizen Activist of the Year." An "activist" is someone in support of causes, and Dixie deserves her civic honor for tireless work for Juneau residents. Yes, activist is a civic honor, not a four-letter word. She deserves all our thanks for attending countless hours of public meetings to ensure change occurs carefully, incorporating aesthetics with Juneau's progress. In fact, she has been singled out as "the voice of reason" during her committee work. You would do well to practice such wisdom and reason in your writing.

Within 24 hours, you were celebrating candidates on one page and toppling them on another. Such lack of ethos serves no one. Your columns resembled cheap, poorly written gossip tabloids.

These candidates have been excellent to each other during this campaign. It is a publisher's job to bring us news, not oversimplified, biased prose masquerading as news. Your paper's deliberate lapse into blatant smear tactics did not go unnoticed. Juneau deserves better journalism. We are waiting.

Mary "Mo" Hicks


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