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Letter to the Editor: Resident wants more complete coverage

by | May 3, 2024 | Letter to Editor

In my opinion, the press holds an important position as the “Fourth Estate,” with responsibility to serve as a watchdog on government. In that regard, I’m disappointed by the Independent’s coverage of the April 30 Select Board meeting, which was addressed in two articles. As an aside, I’d also note that accuracy in reporting is important. In one of those articles, reference was made to a clearly racist comment being made on the HopNews website, when in fact, that comment was on that paper’s Facebook page. That inaccuracy was corrected by the town’s attorney and should not have been repeated in the Independent.

[Editor’s note: In the story Mr. LaGoy references, the Independent writer specifically and accurately indicates the racist comment in question appeared on the HopNews Facebook page. Asked to explain his criticism, LaGoy pointed to this sentence: “Mannan also made a comment regarding the ‘local media,’ which he later clarified to the Independent was directed at the HopNews website.” Nowhere in that sentence or the entire story — or any previous story — is there anything stating there was a racist comment on the HopNews website. The Independent stands by its reporting.]

More importantly, there were three other commenters who spoke, and their messages were not transmitted.

I spoke about an upcoming forum on Dogs on Trails, a contentious issue at last year’s town meeting. A main point in presenting was to invite the Select Board to attend; none took that opportunity to attend what was a hopefully useful and uncontentious meeting.

Two others spoke of their disappointment with the governance by this Select Board over the past year. Such concerns about governance are clearly something that the Fourth Estate, in its role as watchdog, should address. Yet there was no mention of those comments.

Hopkinton, and its government, is a great town but not a perfect town. We should be striving, always, to do better. Part of the process is making the public aware of issues, even if to do so is uncomfortable. The Independent, available to each home in Hopkinton, is a fourth estate member with a duty, in my opinion, to provide that information.

— Peter LaGoy, Hopkinton

Editor’s note: The opinions and comments expressed in letters to the editor are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the Independent. Submissions should be no more than 400 words and must include the writer’s name and contact information for verification. Letters should be relevant and not primarily for the purpose of promoting an organization or event or thanking sponsors or volunteers. Letters may be edited by the Independent staff for space, errors or clarification, and the Independent offers no guarantee that every letter will be published. For a schedule of deadlines for letters and other submissions for the print edition, click here.

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