WBAL-TV maintains editorial control of medical reports...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

April 21, 2000

WBAL-TV maintains editorial control of medical reports

I sense that the competition between Baltimore's only major daily newspaper and local television stations is starting to really heat up. The latest example is The Sun's front-page article "Blurring the line between news and ads" (April 5).

I didn't expect a balanced treatment of the issue, but as I expected, The Sun's self-examination of its own medical "advertorials" fell far shot of the scrutiny it applied to television.

The Sun's readers (and our viewers) deserved a more balanced and objective review of this issue.

I was struck by the article's lack of information regarding what is actually broadcast over the airwaves.

In all of The Sun's fact-finding for this article, did it come across any information presented by our medical partners that wasn't credible?

And lost in this dialogue is the fact WBAL-TV's partnership with hospitals has encouraged viewers to seek more information, consider healthy lifestyle changes and perhaps even saved a few lives.

Attempts to package synergy in all media today, including newspapers, are often confused with selling content.

But our medical partners and news management are satisfied at the editorial separation in our medical reports.

For many years, the area has been well served by the medical partnerships we have forged. They bring solid information to Baltimore and I hope we continue them for years to come.

But, as in the past, when we do present these segments on 11 News, editorial control will rest with WBAL-TV.

Bill Fine

Baltimore

The writer is president and general manager of WBAL-TV.

Drug court graduation merited more attention

On March 30, the Maryland Department of Juvenile Justice's Baltimore drug court program held its second graduation ceremony for nine clients who completed its intense program.

The ceremony was held at the Clarence Mitchell Courthouse. City Council President Sheila Dixon's office was the one city official's that was represented.

Several city officials and three Sun columnists were also invited to attend; however, they did not join us.

The Sun has painted a negative picture of the Department of Juvenile Justice for the past few months. The public is inundated with articles on all the crime and drugs going in Baltimore.

Why not show readers that the department has successful programs and dedicated people working with young men who are trying to improve their lives?

I hope the drug court program's next graduation class will see that their accomplishments are supported by government officials and the press.

Joyce Overbeck-Geller

Baltimore

The writer is assistant to the program administrator for the Baltimore City drug court program.

Let's help Sheila Dixon secure a `living wage'

Baltimore's City Council president Sheila Dixon was recently quoted in The Sun saying "In a country as prosperous as the United States, no full-time workers should have to live in poverty" ("Move to widen living wage," April 11).

She should know. As a full-time worker, Ms. Dixon found herself in such dire straits she took a part-time job as City Council president. Yet she still felt compelled to vote a hefty salary increase for herself and her fellow part-time workers.

I only hope she is not forced to start addressing envelopes in her spare time to make ends meet.

Maybe we could have a car wash? A bake sale? Something to help her out.

Norris Walker

Baltimore

Applause for gun bill won't save any lives

I hope the juxtaposition of the article "School violence less than thought" next to the picture of President Clinton and Gov. Parris N. Glendening celebrating the signing of the state's gun-safety bill was not lost on readers (front-page, April 12).

In that article, Maryland schools superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick noted "There's been tremendous overreaction . . . The kids doing the shooting aren't the ones we're cracking down on."

The article puts the lie to the whole "for the children" campaign of the anti-gun advocates. And the participation of a liar in the celebration of the bill taints the whole Maryland anti-gun movement.

John Cullom

Catonsville

Virginia passes a right-to-carry law and Richmond launches Project Exile, which cut its crime rate, and President Clinton stands mum.

Maryland passes gun control laws that will increase the crime rate and Mr. Clinton urges the country to follow suit.

Whose side is the president on?

Mark Ryan

Abingdon

Gun bill gives Glendening the spotlight he craves

Our illustrious, environmentally concerned governor wasunusually quiet and conspicuously absent for five days from the scene of the state's worst oil spill in years ("Spill cleanup, aquatic life in race," April 11). Normally a politician of his stature would immediately rush to the scene for public relations photos and offer reassuring comments about the government doing all it can to clean up the oil spill.

But apparently the governor isn't concerned about the environment.

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