Attack first?

To the editor:

What’s up with the Journal-World? Editorial choices in the last month demonstrate an “attack first, clarify later” policy toward public servants. Public health, police and now school officials have been targeted under the guise of investigative journalism with sensational headlines, misleading data presentation, and selective omission of key facts. Later, buried on the back page that few read, the Journal-World clarifies. Mistrust of public officials and suspicion remain.

Lawrence has been fortunate to draw highly skilled professionals to its public service positions, but in a mobile society, they have choices. Constant unwarranted second-guessing by the press risks driving them to friendlier climes. Then where will we be as a community?

Sensationalism may sell newspapers, but it doesn’t build a community. Much has been said in Lawrence recently about the need to build social capital. The sole community newspaper has a significant role to play in that process. Will it help build the community up or tear it down? Can a local newspaper single-handedly rend the fabric of a community? Let’s hope the Journal-World doesn’t give us the opportunity to find out!

Nancy Jorn,