Letters to the Editor: November 26 – December 2, 2015
Editor Should Follow News-Press Platform
Every week I see in the News-Press its platform that includes, “Play no favorites, never mix business and editorial policy,” and “Do not let the news columns reflect editorial comment.” And every week I see those platform principles violated by the editor. This has become particularly evident in reporting about development in Falls Church.
Regardless of one’s thoughts about the current approach to development in Falls Church, we should expect to see balanced and nonbiased reporting in what purports to be a newspaper. The Nov. 19-25 edition article, “Planning Commissioner Calls to Nullify November Election Vote” is typical of editorialized “news reporting.” The article is about 196 lines long, 88 of which describe the Planning Commission’s vote. Of the remaining 108 lines, 104 give details and commentary favorable to the developers, and a grand total of four lines state, “38 petitions from the public were heard, mostly opposing the plan from neighbors adjacent the site.” That’s all. No description of the content of those petitions, not even a brief summary, as though they were irrelevant to the discussion. I am not one of those petitioners, but as a concerned Falls Church citizen, I certainly believe that their views are worthy of being reported, in particular if we are to receive in great detail the views of the developers and their proponents (including apparently the editor).
So to the editor, please try to follow your own principles.
Development is Smart Growth, Not Changing Character
Your population perspective in comparing Falls Church City to San Francisco and Manhattan in your editorial, “Why Population Growth is Good” (Nov. 12-18, 2015), makes sense in helping quell fear about growth and provide a visual about fitting more people as residents and visitors to the City but I know many or all of us are not even toying with the idea of growing to a size that’s even double of what we are now.
Development in Falls Church City is about smart growth; it is not about changing our character. Our Little City is special partly because we can easily run into people we know because it is small in population and numbers. We share much in common which is reflected in the events we produce, businesses we draw and frequent, services we offer, and friendships we nurture – characteristics that can remain a constant even as we expand, especially if we don’t become a metropolis.
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