In a recent letter from a reader, he opened with the phrase, “who controls the news,” in a reference to the publisher of Credit Union Times. He couldn’t be more wrong on several counts. Publishers of reputable publications like Credit Union Times do not “control the news.” Real news just happens. It is then the responsibility of our editors, reporters, and correspondents to report that news in a format and style that is objective, unbiased, accurate, fair, and timely. Publishers must not in any way “control” or interfere with that process. Somewhat related, a publisher should never also function as an editor, one who makes day-to-day editorial decisions. Or as a news reporter, especially if the publisher writes a weekly column of opinion such as the one above. Who would blame readers for questioning the objectivity of a story written by a publisher who has already gone on record with his or her opinion on the very topic being reported on? It is impossible to wear both hats. The publisher of this publication never writes any news stories. Admittedly, not all publications feel this way. Some in fact do control the so-called news. You can be certain that nothing gets into an association publication that the publisher (often the association CEO) doesn’t want to be in print. That is especially true if the news happens to be unfavorable to the association or is deemed to be politically incorrect. Which is precisely why most association publications really aren’t in the news business at all. [email protected]

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Peter Westerman


Credit Union Times

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