FROM MY FRONT PORCH
Sam Houston is the publisher of the Hood County News. He is also an actor, author, playwright, performer and entertainment producer/promoter.
Recently the Hood County News was contacted to run an advertisement concerning the current city election. The ad was not from a candidate or from a political action committee but rather from an individual expressing his opinion about a particular candidate.
The ad was presented to us at deadline, and we held the ad until it could be reviewed. We wanted to make a determination if any statements in the ad rose to a level which could create legal liability for the HCN. After our review, we have decided to run the ad and it appears in this issue. It is clearly identified as a political ad.
In the future, we will require all political ads to be submitted to the newspaper at least one week before publication so we may have the time to review its content. We have acted deliberately because it is much more important we be right. We want all the candidates and anyone wanting to purchase a political ad to be aware of this policy. We do not want any confusion, or worse, talk of the HCN favoring one candidate over another.
Since the ownership of the HCN changed nearly 10 months ago, we have gone to great lengths and expense to promote our town, its events, charities and issues and do so in an impartial and fair-minded way. I receive emails every week from subscribers who strongly support the changes the HCN has undergone and urging us to continue the way we present information.
The HCN has made a conscious decision to be a true community newspaper. We make every effort to follow the Mission Statement which is printed in every single edition; “The Hood County News shall provide news and insights to our readers through the independent and impartial presentation of information which educates, enriches and entertains. We are proud to be a community newspaper committed to the people we serve”.
I have an obligation as publisher to our readers, my coworkers and ownership to fulfill this Mission Statement. I am human, and there may be a time when I stumble and fall off the tightrope I often must navigate. When that time comes, and someone accurately points out my failing, I will apologize in print, and promise to do better. I cannot promise perfection, only my best effort and work to be fair to all and promote and serve our community to the best of my ability.
The HCN has not endorsed a candidate, nor have I individually made a statement, contribution or taken a position as to whom I would like to see win any of the offices in this election. My overwhelming wish is for candidates to focus on the issues, and for voters to choose who they wish to serve. Whomever the voters select, will be the right choice, because it will be their choice.
Until next time…