Feb 102014

To The Groton Herald Editorial Staff:

In it’s Thursday, January 24, 2014 edition, The Groton Herald‘s Editorial entitled “Clown Car Politics”, decrying specific, public actions of Groton Selectman John “Jack” Petropoulos, was made available to it’s entire readership, both, in The Groton Herald‘s print version of its newspaper, and on its website.

The purpose of this letter is to take The Groton Herald‘s Editorial Staff out behind the woodshed for its decision to exclude a Russell Harris Question and Answer (“Q-AND-A”) Session with Selectman Petropoulos, from it’s Thursday, February 6, 2014 print edition. (The Question and Answer dialogue is included in Jack Petropoulos’s own Letter To The Editor, here.)

In this day and age, it’s not just journalistic “Best Practices”, but specific professional standards, that dictate if there is the equivalent of an opposing editorial opinion (known as an “Op Ed” piece), regardless of format, in reference an earlier newspaper editorial, it should be made available to that newspaper’s entire readership in every format the original editorial was provided in.

Whether one agreed with Selectman Petropoulos’ actions or not, restricting the aforementioned “Op Ed” Q-and-A’s contents, representing the Selectman’s only public defense of same, solely to that percentage of the Groton Herald’s readership with access to the Internet, was profoundly, not to mention professionally, inexcusable. By doing so, The Groton Herald knowingly denied those of its print readers, possibly having no Internet access, the ability to read Selectman Petropoulos’ responses to The Groton Herald‘s questions.

The very real effect of this journalistic “decision” was to “marginalize” those paying readers who couldn’t read The Groton Herald‘s website material.

God forbid, the day could yet come when the World Wide Web is humanity’s only source of information. But we’re not there, yet, and until thenThe Groton Herald‘s print readership has the right to expect equal treatment, and not what they received (or, to be specific, did not receive) on February 6, 2014. Moreover, Selectman Petropoulos has the right to a formal, written, public apology from The Groton Herald for its journalistic “error in judgment”.


Scott Evans Harker
Martins Pond Road
Groton, MA