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The Valley Reporter
P.O. Box 119
Waitsfield, VT 05673
802-496-3928
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‘Hurtful and dispassionate’

To The Editor:

 

Re: “Meet the new tattooist in town”

I could not believe my eyes last week when I read the second paragraph in Ms. Goff’s article about our friend, Meredith Martin, and her new business. The article about this nice woman and her new business was, in my estimation, a good piece of reporting. Why on earth you published such hurtful and ill-chosen words as “dilapidated and deserted” to my wife’s and sister-in-law’s home of over 60 years is astonishing to me.

Granted, the story was not about the house so why include your own personal thoughts as to the condition the house had been “left in”? You contacted neither Mary nor Susan in describing their home and so you were writing in ignorance of the true reality of the situation. The words are both hurtful and totally inaccurate and show a complete lack of compassion for those survivors of that miserable storm Irene.

If you only knew, if you only had picked up the phone and bothered to ask a few questions, you would have quickly realized how hurtful and dispassionate your words were to the owners of this strong old homestead. This lapse in judgment and this moment of total disregard for those involved with the care and hard work that had gone into said building has caused some real and powerfully felt anger and hurt.

Now I realize that your newspaper is not in the business of hurting people, after all that would cause your readership to tank; however, a reporter’s job is to investigate and an editor’s job is to edit, proofread and give counsel to the reporter. The ball was dropped, the article about a new business, described in a very derogatory way, this home for some 60 years and the description was completely and utterly inaccurate.

I believe your newspaper, its editor and reporter owe the Moretown community, survivors and volunteers and most especially Susan and Mary Goodyear a public, heartfelt apology.

The Valley Reporter is a community newspaper that has, in this particular situation, lost its sense of community and compassion. Let me simply say accuracy is more important than deadlines. Read and reread and think before you roll the presses.

 

David Peterson

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