Setting the record straight

Friday, October 31, 2008

On Monday, Oct. 27, I was notified that the Nevada News had received two new advertisements to run in our Wednesday, Oct. 29 issue. These ads were from Carla Keough and Representative Barney Fisher. Both of these ads contained NEW NEGATIVE information on the opposing candidate.

As a matter of fairness, our newspapers have a policy that does not allow new negative campaign material to run in our papers if there is no chance for the opposing candidate to be allowed to respond to the issues. So, BOTH candidates were told that we would not run their new negative ads in our Oct. 29 issue of the Nevada News. Our next issue of that publication will not publish until after the election. Each candidate was told that he/she could run his/her ad (as written) in the Nevada Daily Mail on Tuesday, Oct. 28, because we would allow rebuttals on Wednesday, Oct. 29, although the deadline for placing ads in these papers already was passed. Again, this was an attempt to be FAIR to EACH candidate. Neither the Nevada News nor the Nevada Daily Mail changed or edited either candidate's ads. New copy was provided by the Keough campaign and Fisher simply chose to run a different ad. At this point, no new negative material will be accepted in ads by our newspapers.

In reference to the accusation that we allowed a Fisher "ally" to run a negative ad in the Oct. 29 issue of the Nevada News, this same ad ran in the Oct. 22 issue. It did not include "new negative information" since the ad ran the week before. Again, we were following our own policy.

Finally, several members of the community have written on our Web site that the Oct. 29 article "State Representative's Race Heats Up" was unfair because Keough did not have a chance to respond and her comments were not included in the article. Steve Moyer, the author of the article, did attempt to contact Keough. He talked to her on Monday and she said she was outside and would call him right back. That return call came only after Moyer left work. Moyer normally leaves at 5 p.m. but on Monday he waited until 5:45 p.m., to take Keough's call. On Tuesday, Moyer called Keough again and did not receive a call back. Due to the amount of coverage we are trying to give to the election and the issues, we could not wait any longer and we chose to run the article with the information we had at press time.

Running a newspaper never is easy. We are blamed when things go wrong, but seldom given credit when things go right. We work diligently to be fair in our reporting and in the advertising we allow in our papers.

Julie Righter