Letter: An update, not a reversal
I would like hold the reporters at the Vail Daily accountable for the way they presented Eagle County Schools’ new decision on masks as a “reversal” in the article: “Eagle County, district reverse course on masks in schools.” The district’s decision should not have been labeled a reversal, but an update. The word reversal had an unfair negative tone, creating unnecessary angsts in people who had not had a chance to read the school’s updates on this matter.
Imagine that you check the weather report, see sunshine, and choose only a short-sleeved shirt. Then later see the same forecast change to rain and choose to bring a raincoat. There’s no negative tone in that decision. It is the logical choice of a person evaluating their decisions based on the most current information. An update to the plan.
This announcement was a simple policy update that did not “reverse course” because at no point did Eagle County Schools make any promises regarding masks in perpetuity. Every publication on the matter this summer clearly said that the decision was the best they could make at that moment based on current metrics, not a promise. Saying that in this change they “reversed course” is a description with an unnecessarily negative tone, and I’m concerned that this type of word choice could lead to irresponsible, sensationalist news in our local paper.
Reporters, your words have power to stoke or cool fires, to create community or divisiveness. Please do not use words with an unnecessarily negative connotation to stoke the fires of conflict and to villainize the people working hard to make careful decisions in attempts to protect our children in a very strange time.
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