We Think: Cheap Shot from a Competitor

We Think: Cheap Shot from a Competitor

November 23, 2016.

The Loudoun Times-Mirror (LTM) has been around for a long time, and we respect its longstanding service to Loudoun County. But that does not entitle its reporters to make things up and take a cheap shot when it comes to another source of news in Loudoun County, specifically the Loudoun Tribune.

This week’s LTM print story about the Loudoun Crime Commission and a presentation by Frank Gaffney to that group on Sept. 9 asserted “The Loudoun Tribune itself has numerous links to Gaffney and the Loudoun Crime Commission.” This is false.

We have no relationship with Gaffney other than attending his presentation to the Commission and subsequently conducting an in-depth interview with him at our office. We also conducted an in-depth interview with leaders of the ADAMS Center, including one who attended Gaffney’s presentation. At the end, we let the parties make their case and ran a detailed two-part story. Sorry LTM, that’s not “links.”

Further, covering news events that the public and media is invited to attend does not require disclosure per se.  LTM has covered many Loudoun Crime Commission speakers over the years.  It would be different if we were writing about a group with which the Tribune has a relationship.  Our publisher has separately and through another business assisted the non-profit Commission and others with web site design and IT support, but this has nothing to do with the Tribune or our editorial policy.

There’s not much trust of the media these days, and the Tribune is the new kid on the block in Loudoun County. We’re going to keep doing quality, even-handed journalism, and we’re prepared to learn and grow from our experience and reader feedback.

As for a cheap shot from a competitor, we won’t stand by quietly.

Update: The LTM has removed the offensive paragraph from its online edition.

Tom Julia
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