The New York Times recently choose to run an anonymous Opinion piece from a Senior Advisor in the White House that took many shots at President Donald Trump. I do not know why the opinion side of The New York Times decided to run the anonymous piece instead of turning it over to the reporting side to be investigated and factchecked. However, I feel it was 100 percent wrong.
Whether you love him or hate him, disagree with him or think he is 100 percent on target, this anonymous New York Times Opinion piece should concern citizens, journalists, and newspaper publishers/ owners alike. I am sure this is not the first time in the history of The New York Times this has happened. However, in the world of credible journalism, it is a rarity not used except in the cases of life and death which this most decidedly was not.
With the rampant distrust of media and the label “Fake News,” the New York Times fed into this narrative by allowing anonymity on one of the most read and revered pages of the newspaper.
The Pleasanton Express for as long as my family has owned this paper since 1974 has never allowed anonymity. It is our policy to not even run an anonymous letter to the editor. We do not use unnamed sources in our newspaper, and we respect off the record. For the latter two journalistic options, we will listen and shield sources, but the words spoken by individuals who want to talk off the record or remain unnamed will solely serve as resources to investigate a potential story.
If a person calls to make an anonymous complaint that involves a crime, we will urge them to contact the proper authorities as many protective agencies can help them. If they are reporting on a school, city, county or government entity, we first ask if they have gone through the proper channels to try to resolve the matter. If they say yes and have been shut out in what we feel is not right, we will contact the proper person and work within the systems to try to ferret out fact from fiction. The majority of the time complaints and problems become solutions or talking points to move toward resolution. Not always, but most often.
In my opinion, the anonymous senior advisor should have resigned a long time ago. A “resistor” is not a “paid position.” At this senior advisor’s level of experience, the number of career positions available to him or her would have been numerous. Obviously, something about the job was too “good” to give up or he/she would have left.
The Pleasanton Express will never print an anonymous letter nor use an unknown source. In my opinion, that is what the internet and social media are for it seems. I am always shocked when people post serious complaints about a business before talking to the owner. Some of these complaints can ruin a business, lose them customers new and old, lose them employees and damage their reputation forever. The poor service may have been a one-off or done purposefully by a disgruntled employee. The employee may be new or just had a bad day. When you have complaints about business go to the owner. They have all the power in the world to fix it and make it right. That is where you find out what a business is made of and where their integrity and customer service lies. If you ever have an issue with the Pleasanton Express, feel free to contact me at 830-569-4967, Monday-Friday, 9:00-5:00 or any time at email@example.com. I promise I will respond to you swiftly and will work to help bring a resolution.
NOEL WILKERSON HOLMES is the Publisher/Managing Editor of the Pleasanton Express. You may E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.