LETTER:Community responsibility

The PDN’s lapse of community responsibility in Sunday’s edition was so disappointing.

We count on it, and its sister publication, the Gazette, to be our primary source of in-depth, factual information relevant to our community.

Never has that been more important with a flood of alternate facts flowing constantly through electronic media.

The COVID-19 pandemic is the greatest worldwide health threat in many years, with infections, hospitalizations, and deaths all rising to new records in the U.S. and Washington.

As they have learned more about this virus, health professionals have offered, and updated as required, recommendations on limiting its spread.

The PDN has done a great job of relaying locally-relevant data and recommendations to its readers. In Sunday’s edition, the headline story on the alarming recent increase in cases was carried over to Page A7, where it was accompanied by an Associated Press piece summarizing the history of recommendations regarding masks … and then right below that story a quarter-page paid advertisement entitled “Misinformation Fuels Lockdowns – Here’s the Facts” whose content is exactly the kind of misinformation that health professionals are trying to refute.

That PDN would even accept such a piece is irresponsible; the lack of a disclaimer preceding it is worse, even Facebook and Twitter make some attempt to warn readers about non-factual posts; while its placement adjacent to articles with accurate, factually-based information displays a serious breach of its responsibility to a community in the midst of a health emergency.

David Large


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