Letter: A true free press

A free press is the bedrock of any democracy. I was saddened to read in Butch Mazzuca’s column “Another week of tumult” that the editor of the Vail Daily used his position to kill a fact-based story because it didn’t fit with his personal bias on the subject; stating the commentary was “ tone deaf and racially insensitive.” A biased press is not a free press. This is censorship in its purist form.

Unfortunately, our country’s larger media outlets have taken sensationalizing events to an all-new high or low depending upon one’s perspective. I believed that our local media had traditionally played it straight and gave everyone their fair shot at the plate. This sense of fairness and willingness to hear all sides and then work together for a common solution is a valued characteristic ingrained in “Happy Valley’s” DNA.

There is ample evidence of this in the actions of our local government, the business community, schools, etc. Suppressing truthful, fact-based information from one side of any issue cannot be tolerated in a nation that values the core principle of freedom of speech which applies to all its citizens, not just the ones that align with an editor’s opinion.

I hope the Vail Daily editor will rethink his position and put professional ethics above his personal beliefs in the future. Our republic can withstand whatever facts (on any topic) a free press brings to light but will surely pay a steep price if personal bias and censorship become the norm.  

Sam Youngwirth

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