Editor’s Note: Welcome to our letters to the editor page. Here you’ll find reader comments on Advocate articles and other news. We collect readers’ opinions from emails, letters, Facebook comments, and comments to valleyadvocate.com. Want to get in on this? Email editor@valleyadvocate.com and put “BackTalk” or “letter to the editor” in the subject.

‘Disgusting’ ‘Tabloid’ News

Andy Castillo

Many readers commented and wrote in about Andy Castillo’s Between the Lines piece “Local TV Stations Have Abandoned Their Journalistic Integrity” in the Oct. 26 – Nov. 1 edition of the Advocate. Here are some responses:

Thank you for calling this what it is. I agree. My problem is if I make that comment on their article then it counts as traffic and increases its ratings. What is your suggestion to tell the local news people that I don’t want to see it, it’s wrong, it makes me not want to listen to their regular news.
—Pamela Peden Hussey, Belchertown, website comment

I took Western Mass News out of my newsfeed over a year ago because of this. It presents an opportunity for the Valley Advocate … maybe if it stopped vomiting pro-pot clickbait pieces every week, there’d be room.
—Mark Lattanzi, Facebook comment
Editor’s note: Plenty of room for marijuana-friendly reporting out there, we say, Mr. Lattanzi.

Andrew Castillo, turn in your journalist badge, you don’t deserve the name! People shouldn’t read news feed about shocking stories outside their geographical area? Who told you that? And if some bizarre crime is perpetrated by an African-American, we shouldn’t hear about it at all, because people’s emotions might become “inflamed”? If you drown your kid, you can expect to make the news no matter what your ethnicity, and you can expect that people will want to read about it. Castillo advocates the craziest form of censorship I have ever heard of. And censorship, not reporting the news, is what “erodes faith in journalism.” I am a former Reuters journalist, working in conflict zones. The journalist reports. The readers decide what to read, not the journalist.
— Kathy Gray, email

I have on more than one occasion commented on one of Western Mass News‘ articles similar sentiments. They are essentially an electronic tabloid but with very poor writing skills. I believe their parent company is Sinclair, who has been buying up local TV and radio stations all over the country and Sinclair dictates the content in a biased way.
—Frank Bertrand, Facebook

Their Facebook posts are disgusting bigot click bait and an unchecked comments section. Talk about fake news. Sad!
—Chelsea Field, Facebook

The same with MassLive/Republican newspaper. Lots of click bait and xenophobic, racist, and sexist dog-whistle language and imagery. And the comment section of their FB and Website presences unmoderated are cesspits of racist filth. I sometimes wonder if the paper’s management is not tacitly endorsing this sort of trumpist garbage.
—Lisa Sergienko, Facebook

High-Speed Rail in Western Mass

Some responses to Chris Goudreau’s “Will Western Mass Ever See High Speed Rail?” in the Oct 26-Nov. 1 edition of the Advocate:

High-speed rail? Even slow rail would be a step forward! Thank you for keeping us focused on who is and who isn’t a friend to us all getting “all aboard.”
—Richard Colton, Montague

Stop calling a 70 mph train by the misnomer “high speed rail” for the sake of building political support for something you want. People aren’t as stupid as you think they are. It should be called “a train,” because that’s all it is. If you want to see high speed rail, look to the TGV in France or the Shinkansen in Japan.
—Eddie Laurel, website comment