Whichever side of the vaccine debate you fall on, everyone should be concerned about Chris Nelson’s commentary of June 15.
It is, at best, a smug display of virtue signalling and, at worst, an attack on the moral character of many. It should never have been published.
Nelson, and the editors of The Albertan, have well and truly proven the demise of journalistic integrity.
Did Nelson take a moment to reflect on the journalistic responsibility required of his profession, prior to penning this repugnant commentary? Did the editors of this newspaper consider the damaging effects of such a piece to the sense of community in a small, rural centre?
Do Nelson and the editors understand the intellectual honesty required for true, unadulterated journalism? Did they take time to research the science behind necessary vaccination levels in a population?
It seems they did not. Instead, as we’ve witnessed this last 17 months, they have done what most mainstream media have done; contribute to the divide and cause yet more dissension amongst a populace already in turmoil.
One role of journalism is to “set the tone of public debate.” (https//honestreporting.com/purpose-of-journalism).
The tone Nelson has set is divisive and designed to put the public, already at odds, at each other’s throats.
“At its best, criticism and compromise are both grounded in facts and intellectual honesty while respectfully acknowledging various points of view in a balanced way. Unfortunately, some journalists pander to the crowd for the sake of buzz and ratings. Others seek to validate views rather than discuss issues in an intellectually honest way.” (https//honestreporting.com/purpose-of-journalism).
Respect and intellectually honest discussion are missing from Nelson’s commentary. One has to question if “buzz and ratings” were the purpose behind the publication of this piece in The Albertan.
Commentary is personal opinion. However, commentators have a responsibility to fully understand the issue at hand prior to sharing that opinion.
Nelson has chosen to ignore, or doesn’t understand, many facts on the science of vaccination. Intellectual honesty does not seem to be a priority for him.
For decades, the press was a trustworthy method of getting important, unbiased information. “. . . social responsibility became the hallmark of journalism and journalists themselves elevated the profession through the creation of professional organizations.” (https//honestreporting.com/purpose-of-journalism).
But that was then and this is now. Main stream media has abdicated social responsibility, becoming a puppet of the government’s one-sided, incomplete narrative designed to control the masses. They have knuckled under government despotism.
Nelson has dismissed a portion of our population, disdainfully and flippantly, as “freeloaders”, those willing to let “others do the rowing”. Clearly, he has not taken journalistic honesty to heart, and looked at all the evidence, prior to standing in condescending judgment of others.
The Albertan editors are complicit simply by printing this commentary.
Deanne Trewin, Cindy Tippe, Beth Weins, Gary Weins, Rhonalyn Carpenter, Connie Harder and Dan Harder
On behalf of Mountain View Freedom