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November 2, 2008 - Kylie Saari
Slander is defined as a false statement made in a transitory form, most often in speech. Libel refers to the written form of communication. Concerns were raised about a recent article about Stepping Stones, concerns I take seriously. For those concerned about the facts given in that article, I would encourage you to contact the Stepping Stones administration. I am sure they will tell you everything in the article I wrote was completely true, and therefore not libelous. School board meetings are a public forum, and as such, the public is encouraged to attended. In my experience, few people not connected directly with the items on the agenda make the effort to come, and even when people are on the agenda it is rare to see them in at City Hall on meeting nights. Due to limitations on space in the paper, reporters generally do not go into detail about the attempts that were made during the course of contacting sources. Therefore, we often simply write, "So-and-so was unavailable for comment." I know that is short, and it can seem like the attempt was short as well. But I have seen reporters work at getting a comment all day with no success, and all they can say is that the person was unavailable. I am glad to know people are reading the Sentinel and care about the content enough to comment. The reporters behind these stories work very hard to make sure the stories are well-rounded and accurate, and this was the case with the Stepping Stones article.
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