This past week the High Country News has received many responses to a recent article written by Ms. Miranda Rosin, the MLA for Banff Kananaskis on what could be described as the “hot button” topic of COVID-19. If you are interested in what she had to say, I would encourage you, the reader, to respond directly to Ms. Rosin and let her know your thoughts and concerns. Any responses received by the High Country News will be passed on to Ms. Rosin.
There has been some criticism of our decision to publish her article. We are a community paper comprised of articles submitted by local politicians (federal, provincial, and municipal), community groups and organizations, local businesses, and a few local writers. There are also events and local stories that the paper endeavours to follow and publish as resource, time and space permits.
The paper exists to connect members of the community and local resident to such organizations. The paper also gives room for local elected officials to connect with their constituents. The role of the publisher is not to filter out a political viewpoint, but to facilitate the voices of the elected officials, members of the opposition, or local constituents .
For the High Country News to block, or pick and choose what is published, based on a preferred political point of view, would violate two fundamental pillars of democratic society: freedom of the press and freedom of speech. If there is something that is published that either you have concerns with, or you appreciate, the High Country News would encourage you, the reader, to formulate a thoughtful and constructive response. You can either submit this to the author directly, or submit a “Letter to the Editor”. Please note that we have limited space, so not all such letters can be published. We will forward these to the author of the article to ensure that dialogue can be facilitated.
If we, as the press, begin to choose what we publish because it doesn’t fit with the popular thought of the day, we as a collective society begin to lose the ability to hold governments and industry accountable. Further, if we don’t allow our politicians a place to express their viewpoints, how will the constituent know the values and principles on which they stand?
I thank you for taking the time to read and engage with our paper, and trust you will constructively engage with Ms. Rosin in dialogue on how best we as a society move forward in dealing with the complexities that COVID-19 has brought to our society.
Articles published in the High Country News are solely the opinion of the writers. This publication assumes no responsibility for the content or accuracy of these articles.
No part of this publication may be reproduced in any way without the written permission of the editor.