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Letter wasn't 'opinion'
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Editor: Regarding the “editorial” piece, “A new practice in town” which ran on the Opinion page of the Bryan County News (9-22-10), I pose the following question to the editorial staff. Were I to open a business/practice in Richmond Hill, could I, like Dr. Trout, defer advertising costs by promoting my venture under the guise of an editorial?
This is neither an opinion nor editorial piece. Instead, it is an advertisement masquerading as a personal letter addressed to “friends, Family and patients.” To the community member who are neither friends, family nor patients, it is irrelevant content.
If Dr. Trout seeks to provide the “personalized dental care” he touts, perhaps the best forum to convey his message would have been via a direct mail campaign to the homes of those whom his letter is addressed.
If the Bryan County News wishes to promote Dr. Trout’s new practice, a news story on the opening of his new facility, and the amenities provided therein, would be more appropriate.
Often, this publication prints items that either fail to answer “who, what, when, where, why and how”, are seemingly ill-researched and present inaccurate information, fail to cite sources for claims being presented as factual or are simply misplaced categorically.
The role of a community newspaper is to educate and inform the public through objective, unbiased reporting.
When a paper permits the use of editorial space for the blatant self-promotion of a private business, rather than requiring the purchase of advertising space, it calls into question the credibility, integrity and objectivity of the publication.

Beth Rawlinson
Richmond Hill

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