Backlash against paper, reporters not justified

Letters to the editor:

Editor’s Note: Jeff Jackson was one of the sources for the article on North Sanpete coaches that ran in last week’s Messenger.

As I stated to you early on in our conversations, the backlash from your coaches article is exactly why I wanted my name withheld.

The backlash that people have felt and are continuing to feel is completely unacceptable. Your reporters are being called some very ignorant things by lots of people on social media, in the local coffee shops, in the conversations between district employees, and so on.

Someone, or multiple people in your office, are now being blamed for giving you the information I gave you. 

If you are really going to be writing a new article, as a Facebook post mentioned, please feel free to use my name.

Dan Christensen, the former baseball coach, actually had a very large run-in with my relative this past year. Also a young man in my town walked off his field during a game. Dan has had multiple issues with players and parents for a few years now.

I personally was at a game when I watched an administrator walk into the dugout with Dan. The players exited, all saying it wasn’t a good conversation. 

Cherrie Helsten Green stated in a comment on Dan’s post about the Messenger, “I hope they fire the reporter.” I knew at that very moment I needed to reach out. 

Dan was in no way targeted in your article as he states. Were there a few issues in the article, a couple misprints? Yes. Were there a few wrong pictures? Yes! Could a lot more have been said? You bet!

I personally thought that the article was very neutral. In life, do mistakes happen? You are darn right they do and I would bet each and every person throwing a fit about this article has made their own mistakes in life. 

I have gone back and read over several articles in the Messenger over the past months about North Sanpete, and it seems as if there has been a very large uptick in positive articles talking about great things that the student body has done at that school.

North Sanpete has not always been represented in the Messenger on a large scale,  and it has been a nice change to see. 

My intentions were never to ruin your paper’s reputation, or your reporter’s lives.

I also know that no matter what the district says about how they are open to listening to parents, they are not. And when a complaint needs to be talked about with administration, how could you address it when they are all related?

They can say that they would have you talk to an unrelated person, but I, as well as everyone else, knows that the supposedly neutral person isn’t going to do go against their co-worker’s child, spouse, nephew, aunt, brother, boss and so on.

I stand by everything I have told you. The things I have shared with you are because of the direct interaction I have had with several coaches and parents within the district.

In my personal opinion it’s time for a complete overhaul in our district. When people are pointing several fingers at your paper, at your employees, they in fact need to be looking deep into themselves and the things that they are not being 100 percent honest about in their jobs and their own lives.

Thanks again for sharing my feelings and for looking out for the people in North Sanpete who pay these peoples wages. 

Jeff Jackson

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