“Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s
going to know whether you did it or not.”
— Oprah Winfrey
Who knows if Oprah really said this, or if one her writers provided these sage words, but in any case, I believe it’s true.
And it’s what we practice behind the scenes at The Coastal Star. I’m sure readers aren’t aware of the decisions we make this time of year regarding election coverage, our regular refusal of unsolicited content (often aimed at self-promotion) and our foundational decision to not pursue pay-to-play advertising (where advertisers get editorial coverage in exchange for their ad business).
We know we are “old school” in some of our decisions and we realize our revenue is occasionally challenged by publications that play by a different set of rules. But that’s OK.
We live here. We care about our island communities. We want our publication to thrive financially so that we can keep photographing and writing about our towns in a way that illustrates the good and the beautiful. But we take seriously our responsibility to expose the bad and the ugly, so that it can be addressed by the community. You can’t do that by being beholden to advertisers or candidates.
Most of your local elected officials understand this and play by similar standards. While we do not endorse candidates, we encourage you to read our coverage and go to the polls if your city has a March 12 ballot.
We thank the many readers (and our peers) who have heaped praise on our journalistic efforts and will endeavor to keep earning it.
We also recognize and thank the loyal advertisers you see on our pages each month. They, too, are a part of this community and I ask that you support them by “shopping the shore.”
They understand that even though we may be “old school” in our publishing approach, we all share one primary, underlying (and often behind the scenes) principle: integrity.
Mary Kate Leming,