Why We Won’t Vote

Kitsap Sun Editor Scott Ware forwarded the following memo to the staff Tuesday.

To All:

As you all know, Washington conducts it political party caucuses on Saturday. Those will be followed by party primary votes Feb. 19.

Our company’s Code of Ethics encourages employees “to register to vote, with party affiliations, and to vote.”

However, it also specifically states, “Journalists and others working in newsrooms must abide by a more restrictive standard, given the disinterested neutrality from which news organizations must work. They must not participate in political fund-raising, political organizing, nor any other activities designed to enhance a candidate, a political party of a political-interest organization. They must not make contributions of record to political campaigns nor engage in other such activity that might associate an employee’s name with a political candidate or a political cause.”

That last clause goes directly to the matter of participation in the caucuses and primaries. In either case, participation would publicly identify a journalist with either a candidate or a party, in violation of the Code of Ethics.

I know all of you as journalists recognize the importance of this issue, and I hope you understand why we must protect the newspaper’s integrity by asking you not to participate.

The same issue was discussed at the Seattle Times and at the News Tribune.

2 thoughts on “Why We Won’t Vote

  1. Fascinating.

    So, please explain how a neutral, disinterested, unaffiliated-with-the-Democrats editor and reporter could persist in claiming that Rolfes, Appleton, Lantz, Seaquist, and Eickmeyer sponsored a bill last year which “omitted” language about the ferry commuter discount.

    The word that is appropriate is “repealed.”

    How could the editor and reporter continue to portray Appleton as fighting to put the discount wording back into law, but not report that she is one of the sponsors of the repeal of that very discount?

    The bill is available. You can see it with your own eyes.

    Show me how the horsefeathers Appleton sold you could be true. Point to the language in the original bill that she, Rolfes and the rest of them sponsored and voted for.

    Not voting is something you think you have to do to appear neutral.

    How do you think it looks when you appear to be reporting as fact what is not fact?

  2. “…disinterested neutrality from which news organizations must work.”

    Wish we had one of those “news organizations” here in Kitsap.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Before you post, please complete the prompt below.

Please enter the word MILK here: