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From the Editor: Here’s how it works, Ray - Green Valley News: Opinion

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From the Editor: Here’s how it works, Ray

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Posted: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 12:00 am | Updated: 4:45 pm, Tue Nov 30, 2010.

The Green Valley News is no longer accepting advertising from Rosemont Mine.

Now let that sink in… What was your first thought after reading that?

If it made you all tingly and happy inside, brace yourself: It’s not true.

But maybe it makes you feel better to know that Pima County Supervisor Ray Carroll agrees with you. Brace yourself again: You’re both dead wrong.

Carroll, a longtime and vicious opponent of the proposed mine in the Santa Ritas, told a packed house at a “Rosemont Roast” on Friday night that newspapers should stop accepting “full-page ads” from the mining company. Then he suggested newspapers are only in business because they do, in fact, accept such ads.

Like it’s a bad thing.

I wasn’t at the “roast,” but after hearing what Carroll said I had to take a long walk to cool off.

Why? Because good newspapers are in business because objectivity and fairness are still the rule; because the newspaper belongs to the entire community, not just a few; because the newspaper, on its news pages, does not take sides.

Ray Carroll has been reading too many blogs, Twitters and Facebook pages, where everybody freely shares even their most fleeting thoughts, and none of it really adds up to much. It’s a world where opinion is king and objectivity and balance are passe. And accuracy? Don’t give it a thought.

It’s not the right context in which to be debating one of the biggest environmental issues facing Southern Arizona. We need facts. We need to listen. We need the truth from both sides. Then we make our decision.

Carroll’s shoot-from-the-mouth approach may appease voters and make a great sound bite, but it does nothing to promote honest discussion.

On Wednesday, I toured the proposed mine site — for the second time. Why? Because I want to hear what Rosemont has to say, not just what other people have to say about Rosemont.

But they heard from me, too. Questions about whether we really need another copper mine. About the huge amount of water it will use. The wildlife it will affect. The unlikelihood of the mine closing after just 22 years. The mile-wide hole it will leave.

All valid questions, and all interesting responses that had to come directly from Rosemont.

For those who were quick to run out to the “roast” on Friday, here’s a challenge: Go on the Rosemont tour, too. Listen, take notes, ask questions, get your information from both sides.

That, Mr. Carroll, is how a newspaper works. Not by muzzling one side and playing favorites.

And, this morning at least, you should be glad for that. (See Page A7 commentary by Ray Carroll.)

— Dan Shearer

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