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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

March 27, 2009 at 1:59 PM

Value of watchdog journalism

Times makes things happen

Thursday’s Seattle Times contains work that is yet another example of the value of this daily newspaper.

Example No. 1: One day after The Times prints the Jesus Barajas sidewalk story, Mayor Greg Nickels steps in to help these hardworking folks caught in a city ordinance that, up until The Times broke the story, had no apparent solutions. The Times “helped” the city to find a way.

Example No. 2: Times articles brought to light Fire Chief Gregory Dean’s apparent protection of Lt. Milt Footer and the demotion of the whistle-blower Jim Woodbury. Without these articles, it is unlikely this retaliation would have ever surfaced and Woodbury would have been the loser.

Reporters like Sara Green and Bob Young are not just reporting what has already occurred. By their proactive work, they made things happen.

I believe we would not receive this degree of community information from an online-only version. Seattle needs to find ways to continue the existence of The Times and the investigative reporters it employs.

We pay for all kinds of programs for our own benefit. Why not this one, too, because it benefits each of us, sometimes in intangible ways.

And without it? Well, the bad guys win and the good guys … well, you know how the rest goes.

— Paul Heins, Redmond

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