The Gazette is a conduit of primarily local news, viewpoints, differences of opinion, controversies, social events, political contests and the like. We have gone to court to preserve our cherished First Amendment freedom of the press when we felt it was threatened. We won.
With this freedom, however, comes responsibility. It is our view that our reporters should report the news and not make it. From time to time a reporter allows his bias or personal view to overcome and pervade the very subject matter being reported. That is when verifiable facts are not necessarily reported, but may seem to carry the authority and weight of certainty. We are not in the business of generating false or misleading news.
Last week in this paper, an article was printed about the upcoming election in the City of Largo, and quite honestly it bore a closer resemblance to an editorial commentary than a news story, and carried the implication that this paper might favor one candidate over another. It also cast doubt or suspicion on various public figures and those associated with those public figures that were, in our view, largely conjecture and speculation.
For this the Gazette apologizes to our readership and those who may have felt tainted. We do not as a rule support specific local candidates in non-partisan contests. We certainly ascribe to the ideal of reporting facts and not unfounded or unsupported propaganda.