Fair and balanced reporting key element when it comes to trust in local newspapers

Julie Reeder

I had someone call last week who was offended that our paper was “going in a direction that offends me as a veteran.” It was because of the photo of the Fallbrook resident that was protesting President Donald Trump.

It is crucial for readers to understand, just because we report on something that a person or a group is doing in town, doesn’t mean the newspaper supports that position. When we report someone was raped or murdered, it doesn’t mean we support rape and murder. If that murderer’s family is out on the street with signs supporting them or people are protesting their conviction, it doesn’t mean we have that position. We are just doing our job and reporting the news in a fair and balanced manner.

Free speech is crucial in a representative form of government. Openly gay conservatives shouldn’t be banned from speaking on college campuses and liberal Trump protesters shouldn’t be ignored or banned from the newspaper.

No matter what the political climate is or who is in office, we have a responsibility to report the news, a responsibility appointed to us by our founding fathers.

According to the National Newspaper Association, “The distinguishing characteristic of a community newspaper is its commitment to serving the information needs of a particular community.” We strive to keep the community in which we serve informed, something that we do quite well with our fair and balanced reporting on all issues regardless of the repercussions.

Remember, if Trump supporters are out with signs of support, we will print that too. We just want to reflect what is going on in our community.

If we start to ignore one group or another and choose to not cover what they are saying or doing, where will that end? Would you trust or want to read that paper? There is a real problem with the national/daily papers printing “fake news.” We shake our heads because we receive those same press releases with bullet points, shifty polling, “statistics” etc. and we choose to not print it.

We don’t like everything that we print in the paper, but we are committed to covering as much as we can in a professional, fair and balanced way.

We appreciate your continued readership and trust in us to do a great job for you and for the community.

7 Responses to "Fair and balanced reporting key element when it comes to trust in local newspapers"

  1. Ray (the real one)   March 17, 2017 at 5:27 pm

    Being a reader for over 20 years and a long time poster, I disagree with Julie Reeder. There has been many issues in Fallbrook ignored by the FBVN, I even called it once, a garden club weekly. The FBVN has often censored issues and op-ed comments not in line with Ms. Reeder’s personal, political views or beliefs. Not going into detail, this paper has missed critical news and opinions which impact every Fallbrook resident. Since this county has only one newspaper, the SDUT, more and more residents are reading their community papers and rely on information about their communites. I have always been critical of the FBVN and still am today.

    • Julie Reeder   March 19, 2017 at 1:24 am

      I can’t believe you’re even accusing me of this. No one has gotten as much free press as you have over the years. I have rarely ever even influenced the editorial department when it came to what stories to cover or how we were going to cover them and when I did it was because there was a potential issue legally or when we were getting numerous death threats from your buddies. How do you even know what stories are in line with my political views? You don’t because we don’t know each other that well and I don’t use the paper as my personal soap box. If you’re so critical of us, I invite you to stop reading and participating with our audience.

    • Long Time VN Reader   March 19, 2017 at 9:36 pm

      Ray is just upset because the paper won’t publish his nasty obscene name calling of blacks, hispanics, women, gays, and every other group imaginable.

  2. grunt   March 19, 2017 at 9:23 pm

    Julie, Ray, and who ever the veteran was that complained., i am also a vet, and I think that the FVN does an excellent job of reporting local news – a paper that has a good feel for the community it serves; occasionally it is a “garden club paper” – (remember Jack Story’s columns?) but the “garden club” news is what a small town paper reports because the people WANT to hear about that garden club sometimes; but also the paper reports on serious news about the village that we do not get any where else. One good way to tell if this paper is non-bias – see how often both sides (liberal and conservative) complain on the comments about it -“too liberal”, “too conservative”. As for censorship, I think this papers letters to the editor and other posting are much more representative of the community at large than the LA Times and now the SD Union.

    • Julie Reeder   March 19, 2017 at 10:30 pm

      Thank you Grunt. I appreciate that. I think it’s important for everyone to be able to air their thoughts, fears and ideas. I think it helps keep the frustration down and then we can all work together to make our community great. We do live in an awesome place, no matter what challenges and complaints we have. Anyone from LA knows that.

  3. Ray (the real one)   March 23, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    Guess I’m in the dog house once again. I told you so folks, I was correct.

  4. grunt   March 23, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    Ray, what makes you “correct”? Maybe Julie felt you were just annoying.


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