Editor Ken Vance explains Clark County Today’s coverage of COVID-related issues
I had an interesting request today that I wanted to share with you. A reporter from The Guardian, Nick Robins-Early, contacted me to ask about our coverage of COVID-related issues.
Specifically, here is what he asked me:
“I’m a reporter working on a story for The Guardian about how anti-vaccine activists and doctors who promote unproven Covid-19 treatments find a platform in local media. I’m reaching out because Clark County Today has published content from the Children’s Health Defense anti-vaccine group, as well as coverage of doctors who advocate for ivermectin use.
“Can you provide a comment on the decision to publish that content, how Children’s Health Defense came to be in contact with Clark County Today and the outlet’s view on Covid-19 coverage in general? I’m interested in how group’s such as Children’s Heath Defense and ivermectin advocates become involved in local media coverage, and any information would be much appreciated. My deadline is Monday, and thanks very much.’’
I am glad that he took the time to ask me the question. However, one of the first things we’re taught as journalists is to never become part of the story. So, I told Robins-Early that “I am generally not interested in becoming part of the story or doing any self promotion etc. for myself or even my news organization. So, I’m naturally reluctant to comment. However, I do feel strongly about the issue you’ve raised so I’m going to make an exception in this instance.’’
There are two reasons why I share this conversation with you here in this space. First, I am skeptical of what is going to happen to my comments. I obviously have a significant level of mistrust of members of the mainstream news media. And, I have very little awareness or experience with The Guardian, or this reporter. So, depending on what he does with my response to his questions, I have this as a public record of everything.
In addition to that, I have received similar questions from many of you and other members of our community, who recognize that we publish COVID-related information that other news organizations won’t and we don’t publish some COVID-related information that others do. So, for those of you who have wanted my explanation of those actions and decisions, this can serve as my public explanation.
I told Robins-Early he was free to attribute the following comment to me:
“Clark County Today was created a little more than five years ago, not because other news organizations were doing such a good job. We were founded to do better. With that as our vision and part of our core values, we have become increasingly amazed and disappointed in how one-sided the coverage of COVID-related issues has been among the mainstream news media, social media and even Big Tech. Like everyone else, during the current pandemic, we have published endless information about vaccinations, treatment and other COVID-related issues, allowing elected officials, government leaders and medical health providers to inform the community about how to navigate this pandemic. However, those sources continually refuse to even address issues such as adverse effects to vaccinations, alternative treatments for COVID and even preventative measures that can be taken to boost one’s own immune system.
“The information we have published on those otherwise under-covered aspects of COVID and this pandemic has come from area community members, health providers and officials and other brave individuals who in the face of extreme attempts at shame and prejudice, stand up and share their own experiences. In our discussions with those brave individuals, with their own boots on the ground, we have become aware of a precious few other regional and national organizations and individuals who are attempting to present the same unbiased coverage of COVID-related issues as we are. Again, we have been appalled to witness the attempts by the mainstream news media, social media sites and Big Tech to suppress the sharing of that information, which prevents the ability of individuals to make their own informed decisions. That said, our news reports have never attempted to influence an individual’s personal decision as to whether or not to get a vaccine, how to treat COVID or how to prepare for COVID. We simply provide information they can use to make their own decisions.”