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Letter: A waste of space

Published: Saturday, July 27, 2013 5:29 a.m. CDT

To the Editor:

It is often said that everything has a shelf life. I am talking about the "Sound Off" page in the July 20 edition of the Kane County Chronicle. An entire page of unattributed commentary must conflict with some journalism standards. The last time I saw any comment or correction by your paper concerning erroneous statements made by callers was during the tenure of the previous editor.

Last Saturday, it was the usual fare with callers reporting their experiences profiling people at recent Fourth of July events, as well as at Walmart. The “Tax dollars at work” caller observed shoppers at Walmart who were “clearly foreigners” and then proceeded to comment on their income, clothes, the pregnant wife and child, items in their shopping cart and food stamp status. The “Speak your language” and “English-only on the Fourth” were distressed by people speaking Spanish on the Fourth of July.   It is unlikely that we know anything about the personal situation of strangers we encounter in public, and these comments are specious.  I assume the callers are registered voters and have been in contact with their elected officials concerning immigration reform.

I wonder what visitors to the area think when they read the "Sound Off." A few years ago, I discussed attribution with a fact checker at the Chronicle, and she told me that people would not call or write in these comments if they had to give their names.  Enough said.

Another waste of print space is when "Sound Off" callers comment on individuals running for public office. Do you think any of these callers might be with the campaigns? This page is a waste of space, which rarely advances important issues.  

Public commentary/opinion is important in a democracy. Letters and comments are welcome. Sign your name.

Waltraud Ferguson

Geneva

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