When I read the June 20 edition of The Beachcomber, I was impressed with Elizabeth Shepard’s investigative reporting and the lack of equivocation in the editorial.
After reading the follow-up commentary and letters in the June 27th edition, I still wish for greater transparency on the part of VCA, but that is unlikely and not my expectation (see below). Now, however, I have a new concern: the expectation that The Beachcomber “be insightful, not inciteful” and offer articles and editorials sunny side up.
I want to be among those who express support for the willingness of the staff to dig deeper into a story that has been discussed in living rooms, kitchen tables, tea shops and grocery stores.
As a board member when Katherine White expressed her intention to make a large bequest to Vashon Allied Arts, I know part of the story of what happened next, and would like to know more. I don’t expect to see a bloom of transparency, however, because VCA is a private, nonprofit organization. Unlike public nonprofits, private nonprofits can be controlled by a family or a small group of individuals, and while they must comply with federal regulations, they can make some choices about what to disclose to their communities.
The Beachcomber can also make choices on which stories to cover, what to ignore to avoid stirring up trouble and ensure advertising revenue, and how much resource to apply to informing the public about issues of interest.
It is my hope that The Beachcomber will commit to keeping us well informed — at risk of someone taking offense — so that we can make our choices about where and how to invest our own time and financial resources.
— Sylvia Soholt