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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Salinas Californian Editor Didn't Want to Report Truth

When I inquired about posting my incident at the Monterey County Jail, in the Salinas Californian as an op-ed piece, here's the response I received from one Mr. R. Robledo:


Most newspaper would not accept a commentary of more than 1,200 words. The Californian’s word limit is 500. If you want to write a shorter version of your commentary, we will consider it for publication.


When I re-worked my op-ed based on his guidelines here's the response I received:


 . . . thanks for your interest in The Salinas Californian. We will not be able to use your commentary because it makes some allegations that we are not in a position to confirm or deny, and requires the jail's side of the story. I suggest you take your complaint to the sheriff and county district attorney. If you file a formal complaint, then maybe the newspaper will pick it up as a news story. Good luck.


My response:


Mr. Robledo,

Thanks[,] however these allegations are fact, I just want to make it public knowledge that this [is] occurring at the jail. My mother was taken to this room as well, months ago and she was surrounded by officers as well (the longer version contains this information) essentially for complaining. Complaints have been made throughout the year but it continues to occur, so I doubt that going to the district attorney in that county would make a difference, which is why I decided to take this into my own hands and submit an op-ed piece to try to make the community aware.

But nonetheless, thank you for your time, I understand the position you're in.

Best



I don't think Mr. Robledo understood that I was submitting an op-ed piece not an investigative piece. It was simply me recounting the events, and relating my account of the whole situation. A couple of my friends from Salinas put it to me well though, they said, it's all politics, the newspaper doesn't want to print anything bad about the sheriff's department; they're all tied to each other in that county like many others, money, media, and politics ("you scratch my back, I scratch yours"). Whether that is true or not, I don't know because I have done an investigative piece on it. However if Mr. Robledo really wanted to do an investigative piece they should've done one to get the side from the sheriffs about my allegations, to see how they would justify taking me, my mother, or anyone else to a room for complaining for not allowing themselves to be mistreated. 


And here I thought journalism was about reporting the truth, but has history as taught us, it's simply a tool for the highest bidder.  



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