Reader Feels Tolman Coverage Did Disservice

As a Back Bay resident who reads the Beacon Hill Times frequently, as well as a journalist who has practiced for decades, I was surprised when I read your  article on Warren Tolman in Aug. 26 edition.

There is no mention whatsoever of his opponent, Maura Healy, and the story is positioned at the top of the front page—above the fold in the print version.

Frankly, in my view, your handling of this story showed poor editorial judgment.

As an editor, I know that the job is to assign stories, to review them for factual accuracy and fairness, to oversee their placement in the publication—and to be aware of the message that  sends.

If it is your goal to endorse Mr. Tolman, then do so in an editorial. In my opinion, your handling of this story gives the sense of a tacit  endorsement,  and, as such, it sparked a flurry of e-mails among many of my friends on  the  Hill.

To be biased is human; to be objective is a goal that all journalists must strive for. As the “gatekeepers,” and I am sure that you are well aware of the power and responsibility that you have.

The attorney general’s race is a very close one, and Primary Day, Sept. 9, will be here shortly. If there is any chance to give Ms. Healy the   coverage she deserves, I urge you to do so.

You provide a valuable service to this community, and stories such as the Tolman piece will only undermine your efforts, which I am certain are sincere. They will also tarnish the reputation of the Beacon Hill Times—as well as the other papers in your network—as highly valued community resources  that readers can trust.

Patricia Amend

Commonwealth Avenue


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