2012-05-10 / Letters to the Editor

Letters to editor should have sources cited

Over the years, it has been good to see the level of debate expressed in the letters section of the Jamestown Press by residents discussing controversial issues affecting the town. This public debate reflects a healthy democracy in action. However, such debate should be based on accurate information so that the paper’s readers can make informed decisions for themselves.

In recent letters discussing both sides of the debate over the construction of a wind turbine, there have been frequent references to technical reports and studies that may provide useful information. For example, in a recent letter (“Many health problems can arise from turbine,” May 3), Hugh A. Murphy wrote about the suspected health effects of wind generators called the “wind turbine syndrome.”

In the letter he cites three studies underway investigating the syndrome. Given the technical nature of this information, it would benefi t the readers if the Press required writers to include the specific titles of cited reports and names of the organizations performing the studies so the readers could follow up the information for themselves rather than going based only on a writer’s interpretations and potential biases.

This would allow the paper’s readers to determine if the reports and organizations being cited are credible sources of accurate information. Further, the paper should consider providing links to these reports and organizations at the Press website to serve as an information resource to the residents of Jamestown.

Robert Burgess

Bonnet View Drive

Jamestown

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