EDITORIAL: CCN explains reasons behind Klan article

Friday, November 16, 2012

We at Carroll County News have pledged to run every letter to the editor we receive -- as long as it does not contain statements we know to be untrue and as long as it does not libel anyone.

We also have heard a few murmurs around the county similar to the gist of the letter below, so we decided to publish portions of this reader's letter as well as our response to the writer.

Dear Publisher & Editor:

This letter is in response to your Klan article in the Nov. 2, 2012, paper.

Looking above the fold of your paper that day, I was shocked then vehemently disappointed at extensive and "enlightened" coverage this organization received from the CCN news team. Subsequently, upon seeing almost a half page on page 3 dedicated to this "kinder-gentler hate group," compelled me to respond -- WHY? Your article implied the glorification of this 'renewed patriotic' hate group by offering the global and surrounding communities a glimpse into the heart of CCN true darkness.

As believer of free speech, I understand you should offer all points of view to readers for fairness; however a hate group on the FRONT PAGE & above the fold fuels the fires of hate this area and country do not need. ...

-- Melinda Large


Dear Melinda,

First, you ask, "Why." Well, would you prefer that we did NOT do a story about this, and have Carroll County residents instead be surprised when the Klan shows up in their doorways, white robes and all, passing out flyers?

Or would you prefer that we suddenly, because we are writing about a group that we all hate, turn our backs on our pledge to be unbiased journalists and condemn them within the "news" story?

If we were to do that, where does it stop? Who gets to decide when we are biased and show our emotions within news stories, and when we do not do these things and actually perform our duties as responsible, unbiased journalists? Do you get to decide? Do we? Where is the line drawn? That is a slippery slope, and one we don't care to traverse.

We'd much prefer -- and we believe our readers would much prefer -- that we ALWAYS remain as fair, balanced and unbiased as possible in our reporting. THAT is why we wrote about the Klan the way we did.

We felt it important to (A) Warn Carroll Countians that KKK members are on the way and (B) explain which faction of the group is stepping up local recruitment efforts, in an effort to be as clear and accurate as possible in our reporting.

We never, ever tried to paint them as a "kinder gentler hate group." Those are your words, not ours. ...

-- Kristal Kuykendall, Managing Editor

Our responsibility is to report all the news and keep Carroll Countians informed about what's happened and what is to come, when that is possible. That's exactly what we aimed to do here.

And we appreciate the positive feedback we did receive from readers on our Facebook page when we first posted this story.

The news isn't always going to be positive and happy, unfortunately. Nor will CCN's content be. Because we are here to report the straight truth, whether it is appealing and comforting or not. We hope you will, in the long run, appreciate our efforts.