The Editor:

Last week when reading the Leeward Times, I saw that Mr. James Gaskell’s usual commentary appeared there and not as usual in The Observer. There was also a gracious letter from him to you explaining why he would not longer be a columnist in The Observer and thanking for your kindnesses in publishing his articles.

I read The Observer, as do many others, and was surprised to note that there was no comment, no “thank you” for the columns provided, no explanation – only a very obvious absence of any explanation, unlike most professional newspapers would have done

I suspect it is not difficult for the average reader to understand what happened. Although the high-minded motto of your paper is “The Federation’s Independent News Source”, and I completely support this attitude, I also realize it is difficult in actuality.

To me the freedom of the press to publish what they believe is significant, newsworthy and contentious is the most precious freedom any community has.

To Mr Williams – perhaps you could editorialize about this subject and your silence on Mr. Gaskell as your columnist. Were you under pressure? If so, I am sorry.

I believe a simple “thank you” to Mr. Gaskell with a note that The Observer can no longer publish his column would have saved your paper many questions about whether or not you indeed follow your motto.


Ursula Huggins-Whitney