Letter to the editor: Summit Daily News should fact-check all columns and letters

Judy Campbell


I have read your editorial pages regularly. Though voices of accurate information and respect have been printed, too often that has not been the case for both sides of the political spectrum. The latest example is Kim McGahey’s column from Dec. 1, in which he described the Black Lives Matter movement with the terms “dangerous,” “communism,” “eliminate the nuclear family” and “impose government control.” A visit to its website, finds no endorsement of any of these goals. He is not just spreading lies, he is spreading fear. And by printing his words, with no disclaimer or fact-check, I suggest that Summit Daily is doing the same.

I do not advocate infringing on anyone’s First Amendment right to free speech, but I do offer this suggestion: Recruit a high school student who aspires to a career in journalism as an intern to be your official fact-checker of every letter and column you print. This new service, and it would certainly be a much-needed public service, would be stated as a clear editorial policy. Anyone who submits their words to the Summit Daily for publication is on notice that her/his words will be fact-checked and that inaccurate information will be highlighted, and the actual facts will be included at the end of the letter/column, etc.

As disinformation runs rampant on all networks’ news broadcasts as well as the internet, the role of a local newspaper is more critical than ever to encourage open, honest communication between its citizens. By working together from a foundation of mutual respect for facts and for the diverse personal perspectives that life experiences engender, I have no doubt that we will solve the challenges all of us face today.

I hope Summit Daily will seriously consider this suggestion.




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