Where Has Our Local News Media Gone?

Here is an explanation sent by the Clovis News Journal to answer why the High Plains Patriot’s candidate forum was deleted from the local newspaper’s Meetings Watch. At first reading it seems reasonable… however, just a little research into the history of what has been published in the past reveals that explanation to be less than credible.

From: dhartsfield@cnjonline.com [mailto:dhartsfield@cnjonline.com]
Sent: Wednesday, January 29, 2014 3:30 PM
To: Dianne Davis
Subject: RE: meeting announcement

Yes we did speak and I did add this event to the “What’s Happening” calendar that same day. Unfortunately, per management, it was removed because we cannot promote “candidate forums”. I was not advised why the meeting itself was removed. I apologize you did not receive a phone call regarding this matter. I will once again add the meeting for tomorrows print. For further information on this matter, you may contact the Editor, David Stevens at 763-6991

Thanks,
D’Nieka Hartsfield
CNJ Newsroom
575-763-6991

Here is the Patriots response to the CNJ explanation:

Dear Ms. Hartsfield, as President of the High Plains Patriots, your response about why the announcement of our Candidate Forum was deleted from the first publication of the Meetings Watch was sent to me. What is stated as policy now was not policy last year and in 2012.

We are a conservative group in Clovis, consider ourselves reasonable, and wish to promote an informed electorate so that issues addressing responsible, accountable government are made available to the people. We are not trying to “catch candidates” or embarrass them. Their positions on the matters outlined in the questions already provided are important to our members. There will be no questions taken from the floor so that national or state politics, or personal politics cannot be used against those attending.

In the past, the Clovis News Journal has not only announced such forums, but has done articles announcing them including ones sponsored by the High Plains Patriots. See these links below, some of them are announcements, and some are actual coverage of the candidate forums.

http://www.cnjonline.com/2012/05/22/candidate-forum-webcast/
http://www.cnjonline.com/2012/10/23/whats-happening-oct-23/
http://www.cnjonline.com/2012/10/25/citizen-group-hosts-candidate-forum/
http://www.cnjonline.com/2012/05/24/candidates-discuss-issues-at-epcog-forum/

This is a sad day for Clovis and for the Clovis News Journal. People will need to turn to other news sources not only to get unbiased coverage of events and situations, but even to find out what is happening. It is one thing for a special interest group to be biased in their coverage of the news, that is what they are about, but a community newspaper needs a broader basis to provide the service the community expects. And yes, I am letting our members know about this new policy. Perhaps some will give feedback to the CNJ too.
Respectfully yours, Carolyn Spence, President, High Plains Patriots

What do you think? Where have those who used to provide broad based coverage to your city, town and state gone? They seem to be missing. And we are all poorer for it.

NEWS FLASH! The Editor of the Clovis News Journal has announced that editorial policy has changed. Here is the answer from David Stevens about why they declined to print the announcement. A new policy has been implemented at the CNJ which will greatly restrict the use of the editorial page for political discussion. Editor Stevens’ letter concerning this new policy:

Carolyn,
I met with my supervisors last week and it was determined we will not promote political organizations’ candidate forums in our calendars. We will continue to announce your meetings as we do with all political organizations whose meetings are open to the public.

We are also making changes to policies regarding letters to the editor, specifically limiting individuals to one letter every 30 days and prohibiting letters from anyone representing a political organization or other groups. We will continue to accept paid political advertisements.

If you would like to discuss these policy changes, Publisher Ray Sullivan said he would be happy to talk with you. His number is 763-3431.
–David Stevens
Editor Clovis Media Inc.

Political letters to the editor will need to be from private individuals and not from a representative of a group. It is not clear how that will play out when something needs to be said. We wonder if this decision is the result of a real or perceived threat of lawsuits…

About Conservative Frontiers

Written by Carolyn Spence, or other authors as shown. Conservative philosophy based on the premise that individual people have special value. The love of God for human kind and for his creation should be the basis of all government - to enable the individual to reach their full potential and to restrict evil from interfering with that process. Each person brings a unique potential to our world. Together we have the ideas, skills, and talents necessary to solve the problems of our day and our tomorrow.
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