The News & Observer/Herald-Sun recently published an article that calls into question The Local Reporter’s (TLR) independence and promotes allegations that TLR is slanted toward the views of the Chapel Hill Alliance for a Livable Town (CHALT). We do not understand why a large for-profit newspaper has sought to impugn TLR’s integrity. We do know that TLR is helping to fill the gap left by the N&O’s and H-S’s very limited coverage of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area.
The essence of the accusations against TLR is that members of TLR who are affiliated with CHALT did not disclose that association. Our readers understand that people can be part of different projects and yet keep them separate. In Chapel Hill and Carrboro, with their engaged citizenry, it’s hard to find anyone who hasn’t joined some local group. From PTAs to town boards to political groups, many of us want to be part of something larger and to contribute to our community. Thus, people associated with TLR may have other civic affiliations, but these other affiliations have not prevented TLR from publishing factual, unbiased journalism, as the N&O’s review confirms. By contrast, the N&O/H-S article contains factually incorrect statements that mischaracterize the relationship between CHALT and TLR.
In the wake of the publication of the N&O’s article, TLR subscribers have asked how they can show their support for TLR. Consider writing a letter to the editor of the N&O or to other local news sites or posting a statement of support on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, etc.
As our readers know, TLR has published hundreds of articles and opinion pieces that reflect a wide spectrum of views on local issues. We stand by our commitment to provide an open forum for all community members to exchange ideas. TLR volunteers and staff will endeavor to continue to merit the trust and support of local residents as we bring to TLR’s readers news and information about our community.
Rudy Juliano, Fred Lampe and Del Snow on behalf of the Friends of Local Journalism