Peaceful Protest

A community group gathered Friday along West Second Street to raise awareness about items printed in The Post-Journal.

The Raise Awareness, Community Outcry for Fair and Balanced Reporting By The Post-Journal picketed outside of the newspaper, which is located at 15 W. Second St., Jamestown. More than 30 people with signs and banners walked along the block across the street from The Post-Journal’s offices. The peaceful gathering lasted about 45 minutes before the group departed from Second Street.

In a news release sent to The Post-Journal from the group, it was explained that the protest was created in response to a letter to the editor printed earlier this month in the newspaper. The statement said the group came together to show that Jamestown supports all kinds of diversity, and they would like the local newspaper to reflect their sentiment.

”The Raise Awareness, Community Outcry for Fair and Balanced Reporting by The Post-Journal event was conceived primarily in response to Randall S. Braley’s letter, ‘Issues Stem from Homosexuality,’ which was published in the February 13 edition of The Post-Journal. The language included in Mr. Braley’s letter was hate speech and creates an unsafe and hostile environment for members of the LBGTQ community, who are a vibrant and essential part of the revitalization of Jamestown. We believe that The Post-Journal showed a lack of journalistic integrity when it chose to publish this letter,” the release stated. ”Members of this group have also noticed a strong conservative bias in the editorial content published by The Post-Journal, specifically in regard to issues of poverty, women’s issues and issues regarding to ethnic and racial diversity. We believe that this does not paint an accurate picture of the realities of the Southern Tier region and that all views should be represented in our local paper, including those with which the publishers and editors of The Post-Journal, may not agree. Going forward, members of this group will continue to monitor the representation of diverse opinions represented in The Post-Journal’s reader-submitted and editorial content.”

Michael Bird, The Post-Journal’s publisher, said he understands the group’s concern and appreciates their passion to make their opinion known through public protest.

”We support their efforts to exercise their right to freedom of speech,” he said. ”As this community’s largest multimedia news organization, we also are proud of the fact that we provide the tools and the space in the newspaper and online as a vehicle for local citizens to voice their opinions on many different subjects. We are the billboard of this community’s public concerns and information that can spark important discussions that are vital to the area’s future. We welcome and encourage people from both sides on any given subject to send us their viewpoint.”