Letter: The Times, citizens need to be vigilant

To The Editor,

I am writing to encourage The Times of Chester County to remain an independent news organization that fact-checks statements made by all politicians (particularly the president-elect) and exposes false statements clearly while reporting on any issue. The president-elect has consistently derogated news sources that disagree with him or his positions.

However, our success as a democracy depends on the media’s ability to be independent, critical, and even skeptical. The Times of Chester County must not give in to the pressure of any politician to conform to their perspectives, and this is even more important when it comes to the president of the most powerful country in the world. As Thomas Jefferson wrote: “Our liberty cannot be guarded but by the freedom of the press, nor that be limited without danger of losing it.”

I am also writing to encourage the readership of The Times of Chester County to critically evaluate statements made by the president-elect and politicians on both sides of the aisle. It is all too easy to believe politicians who are on your side and discredit those on the other. We all need to step beyond these bi-partisan modes of thinking, and instead critically evaluate actual proposed policies. We all need to take the time to learn about the details of a policy before making a judgment, and we should learn about these policies through trusted news sources and official legislative documents (and not via fake news stories that may come across our facebook or other social media feeds).

Now more than ever, the media and the citizens of the United States of America must be vigilant and hold our politicians to the same high standards that we would require of others; to tell the truth, look out for the well-being of others and not just themselves, and use their position of power to improve our society rather than demean or derogate other people.

Lisa Jaremka


Editor’s Note: The above letter started as a personal request from the author — who asked that it be published along with our reply. Our reply follows:

Dear Lisa,

Thank you for your comments — I’m not sure if you are just reaching out, or asking us to publish this — either way is fine, let me know.

As to your comments, rest assured that we will continue to hold every elected official accountable, from Township Supervisors to Directors of Boards of Education to County Commissioners (many of whom are up for election in 2017). Unlike many elected officials (and sadly, some in the media) we’re not beholden to any special interests, as a local, privately owned publication (the county’s lone daily print newspaper is owned by a hedge fund, our top online competition is owned by a business association and the only other newspaper in the county does a lot of work for and is beholden to the Chester County Chamber of Business & Industry, which is essentially a subset of the Chester County Republican Committee).

We stand alone as an independent watchdog with only one special interest group our focus: our readers.

From the first day we started in Oct. 2010 we have been guided by one basic principle: “Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.”

Expect that to continue in 2017, as we very closely watch the conduct of our three U.S. House Members and our two U.S. Senators and whether or not they support proposed changes, privatization or even elimination of Medicare, Social Security and a wide range of other issues. We will not hesitate to call out Donald Trump and point out his struggles with honesty and integrity as appropriate. We have and will continue to call out those here in Chester County who engage in racist, sexist, homophobic and other discriminatory behavior — there is no place for that in our society.

We will be watching. We will be reporting on the issues that impact Chester County directly.

Thank you for reaching out to us and feel free to contact me personally if you think we’re missing something that should be covered.

Mike McGann


The Times of Chester County

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