Friday, August 17, 2018

The Northwest Herald—AWOL in the Fight for Freedom of the Press

The Boston Globe led a mass wave of Freedom of the Press editorial around the country and reaped Trump Twitter scorn and bomb threat.

Note—Yesterday showed an unprecedented display of journalistic solidarity when more than 350 American newspapers followed the lead of the Boston Globe in denouncing Donald Trump’s bellicose and dangerous attacks on the press and individual journalists.  It has become alarmingly clear that Trump’s recklessness will sooner or later encourage deadly acts of violence against reporters, editors, and other press personnel.  As naked intimidation, it is an immediate threat to freedom of the press.  Yet McHenry’s County’s daily paper, the Northwest Herald sat out the protest and then did not even report it happened in today’s edition.  Thus, this letter to the editor.  In the past the Herald has printed most letters, but has been allergic to any that point the finger at ownership for over-riding editorial judgement.  So if it doesn’t make newsprint, you can read it here.

Masthead of the local paper notable for its invisibility in the campaign for Freedom of the Press

It’s Your Write

Northwest Herald

To the Editor:

On Thursday, August 16 more than 350 American daily newspapers from Maine to Hawaii published editorial denouncing President Donald Trumps repeated attacks on the press, characterizing responsible journalists as enemies of the people, and defending freedom of the press. It was an extraordinary and unprecedented rebuke from papers with vastly different editorial outlooks and political preferences.

The Northwest Herald was notable for its absence from their ranks.

Not only that but the edition the next day failed to even file a news report despite the fact the lead journal in the campaign, the Boston Globe was immediately singled out for a presidential Twitter assault and received a bomb threat at its offices soon after.  Or the fact that on the same day the Republican controlled United States Senate felt compelled to unanimously pass a resolution stating that journalists were not, in fact, enemies of the people.

The Herald has always loudly proclaimed its dedication to public interest journalism and demanded all rights and privileges to report the news.  I imagine that the professional editorial staff ached to be part of the movement.  Silence could not be explained by the devotion of the owners of Shaw Media to Donald Trump, could it?

Patrick Murfin,

Crystal Lake

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