Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Our coverage of Councilman Settle: tabloid journalism?

N. Wright left a message on my voice mail this morning upset about our coverage of SLO Councilman Allen Settle:

"I am livid about the nonsense articles that are being printed in The Tribune about Allen Settle. To me this is tabloid journalism and not worthy of The Tribune. Allen Settle has worked tirelessly for the citizens of San Luis Obispo and our beautiful community for over 25 years. Why don’t you print an article about all his good works and not the crap you’re printing now?"

I appreciate Wright's sentiments and others who might agree with her.
But I respectfully disagree that the subject matter – whether Councilman Settle’s home in SLO is his primary residence – is not relevant. It is relevant. Recent questions have been raised about the frequency of Settle’s stays at his hilltop home in rural Arroyo Grande, and one city resident plans to send a letter to the California attorney general to express his concerns. As an elected official for the city of SLO, Settle can best carry out his duties if he actually lives in the city he represents. Our news coverage has explored what the law says about residency, and our editorial has taken a stance on the matter. We have addressed Settle’s many contributions over the years on other occasions.

-- Sandra Duerr

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