Letters page is no place for politicking
Sir, Jim Cunningham takes me to task for my comments re political balance (Oban Times 31/12/15) claiming I suggested political bias.
Mr Cunningham refers to his experience of The Oban Times’ a-political approach over a number of years.
However, I clearly was not referring to a general policy over a number of years, but was careful to list a specific bulge of letters, from a specific source, during a specific period. In that period [three weeks], The
Oban Times had printed letters from Alan Reid, Dunoon. I specifically calculated that 75 per cent of the letters in the newspaper in that short period came from that single anonymous political source: a source who later revealed himself as our former MP.
I concluded my letter with ‘I urge you ( The Oban Times) to continue to ensure a balanced approach’. Note ‘continue’.
Now that I have corrected him on that point, I’m sure Mr Cunningham will be happy to withdraw his criticism of me. For the record, I well knew when I wrote my letter that there had been a recent change in the editorship of The Oban Times. In his recent letters to the new editor, Mr Reid failed to identify himself as an aspirant political candidate. In my opinion, a shocking lack of integrity.
My aim was to alert the new editor to the possibility that The Oban
Times was being used as a journalistic Trojan horse resulting in its letters page containing unbalanced political comment. My assertions are somewhat underlined in the last two editions of the paper. Both editions have carried letters from ‘Alan Reid, Prospective etc…’
For the record, unlike the anonymous Mr Reid, in the interests of transparency, I conclude every letter to the editor with my full address and any personal interest in the subject I write about.
Liam Griffin (Sen.), by email.