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Letters to the Editor, Aug. 21

Too local to speak out?

I take strong exception to your Friday morning editorial regarding the nationwide editorial protest on behalf of freedom of the press. Your ostensible reason being that the Tidings is “first and foremost, local, community newspaper.”

Good for you, that is exactly why we subscribe to daily delivery of the Tidings. Reading it is part of our breakfast routine. And in reading the paper every day we do find within it regional, national and world news. Albeit local news gets the cover and the first five or six pages, followed by the broader coverage.

Speaking of broader coverage, the same is true for the Voices page every day. Because all the political cartoons printed there are generated elsewhere and repeated here. As to editorials, it is a mix. This month of August so far, the subjects covered has been roughly 50 percent local and 50 percent reprints of others’ editorials, conveniently titled “Other Views.”

Hence I found the “Why we didn’t join in” argument to be sanctimonious and hypocritical. Are you really exclusively “local”? Your pages belie your words.

By the way, I applaud the courage and journalistic independence of hundreds of your peers who did the opposite. The U.S. Senate has been consistently reluctant to make any overt statement of disapproval or opposition to the president. As you acknowledge, the U.S. Senate passed a (unanimous) resolution asserting that the press is not “the enemy of the people.” It is highly likely that the nationwide chorus of brave editors and publishers had a profound impact that helped spur this very rare Senate action. I regret that the voice of our local community press was muted at this historic and consequential moment.

Jim Wolf-Pizor

Ashland

Weak response

I am beyond livid at the extremely weak response that your editorial board has taken about ongoing remarks and tweets from the Trump administration regarding freedom of the press.

We live in a world that often comes way too close to 1920s Germany, especially rhetoric around freedom to speak one’s mind, and accusations of “fake news” and being “the enemy of the people.” The Boston Globe and hundreds of other newspapers took a strong and courageous stand. I don’t understand how your editorial board can use the excuse that we’re just a small community newspaper to not stand up to being described as the enemy of the people. Do you consider yourselves to be the enemy?

A newspaper is a newspaper, and you are the Fourth Estate, and we’ve already lost the first and second, and are verging on losing the third. You’re all we have left, local or national.

Jack Leishman

Ashland

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