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Letter: World view colors courses, coverage

6:08 PM, Jan. 15, 2013  |  Comments
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Editor: In the spring and summer semesters of 1975, I took two separate and distinctly different college courses focusing on Vietnam. One took a largely anti-European, anti-colonialism approach, the other more of an Asian-centric perspective. Both were well taught by University of Wisconsin system professors. The timing was significant because Saigon fell to the North Vietnamese on April 30, 1975. Thus both classes were charged with emotion and strong feelings.

In hindsight, it wasn't so much the names, dates and facts that impacted me, as it was the presentation. Again both professors, in my opinion, were good, however they presented very different facts and drew very different conclusions, based largely on their world view.

Looking at this now, it resonates with me that it's not so much the factual nature of a class, speech or report as it is what facts are included or excluded, and thus what perspective is being promoted either tacitly, or indirectly by the coverage given.

I note this specifically as it relates to our local Gannett newspapers in their news stories. I think many of us on the right feel these newspapers have a decidedly left wing slant. That doesn't mean that the reporting isn't factual. What it does mean is that the subjects chosen, and the facts presented reflect a bias that causes them to present progressive perspectives in a decidedly positive way - excluding competing stories, facts and perspectives.

Respectfully, I would ask Gannett to be more balanced in its presentation of facts in new stories. Furthermore when it has reporters with a history of partisanship this should be noted so readers factor in subtle bias.

Just FYI - the professor with the Asian perspective was more spot on in his forecast of the future for that area than his counterpart with the anti-colonialism perspective.

Jerome C. Lippert

Pittsville

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