Partners, yes; Sinclair owned, no

Many of us in the newsroom have watched the viral video of Sinclair television anchors reading a mandated corporate script about “fake news,” and we’re just as astounded as many of you are.

We’ve been getting questions from readers and sources about whether the Mail Tribune, which is partnering with local Sinclair station KTVL on several projects, will be running any similar Sinclair content.

The answer is no.

God, no.

We are independently owned by Rosebud Media LLC and will continue to be. We will continue to partner with KTVL to do good journalism, as has been shown through our recent series “Waiting for Tragedy” — about how difficult it is to commit someone who’s violently mentally ill — and “Women Behind Bars” — about how female offenders have far different needs than men to be successfully rehabilitated.

We believe the combined resources of the two newsrooms can do great things in serving our readers and in shedding light on issues in our communities. We know our counterparts at KTVL are just as devoted to fair and balanced journalism as we are. And we know Sinclair does not tell KTVL what to report on when it comes to local news.

It’s unfortunate that Sinclair felt the need to declare its commitment to accurate reporting with a promotional campaign using one of President Trump’s favorite phrases — “fake news” — and one of his favorite pastimes — attacking the press. And now the largest owner of television stations in the country is feeling the backlash, from pulled advertisers to listeners who’ve vowed to tune out.

We hope it serves as a reminder to corporate managers that viewers want to be able to trust their local journalists. Let them do the job they were trained to do.

Reach Editor Cathy Noah at 541-776-4464 or by email at cnoah@rosebudmedia.com.

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