Newspaper policy bad for Bryson City

To the Editor:

I found it curious that The Smoky Mountain Times in Bryson City had not run any articles or any biographical information about the candidates running for mayor of our fine town of Bryson City. And to me and others this is one of the most important local elections we have!

So I asked one of the candidates a few weeks ago why there was nothing in the paper about the candidates, and this with just a few weeks (at that time) left before the election. I wanted to know something about the candidates before I voted.

The candidate told me that he was told by the Smoky Mountain Times new publisher Cathy New that the paper’s new policy was the following: if the candidates wanted something about their candidacy in the Smoky Mountain Times, the candidates would have to pay for it.

And so I thought to myself, what kind of election coverage and newspaper policy is that?

And so in last week’s Smoky Mountain Times, there was nothing. Only a ballot sheet, and that was it except what the candidates put in themselves. No local coverage on the most important local election a municipality could have.

Lucky for me I did pick up a copy of The Smoky Mountain News and there it was – local coverage that covered our candidates in our non-local paper. And thank you Smoky Mountain News for giving us coverage on our mayoral candidates.

The only problem is that not everyone in our town may have the opportunity to pick up The Smoky Mountain News. Most of us we have The Smoky Mountain Times delivered to us and we depend on that coverage. And we should expect that something such as a local mayoral race would be covered! I find it all pretty disgraceful and am ashamed of this new policy.

So by the time this letter gets to the paper and edited to their standards, the election will be over. I just hope the best man will have won. But I guess we will never know for sure since the new policy did not give us any coverage.

And they always wonder why election turnout is so low!

Bob McCann

Bryson City

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