Summer 1999

Why Identify Welfare Recipients or Quote Incorrect Grammar?

At The Mountain Eagle newspaper we do not use photographs of welfare recipients as welfare recipients. It’s hard enough to have to be one without having to face the prospect of someone taunting you or your kids over a circumstance beyond your control. We do, of course, use their pictures in different circumstances, such as a birthday, engagement, wedding or school honor.

We also use correct grammar when we are quoting someone, welfare recipient or not. Our observation is that newspapers generally do not quote any other group of Americans in dialect whether they are Kennedys in Massachusetts, Dodger fans in Brooklyn, Mexican-Americans in California, or African-Americans in Alabama. We see no reason why Appalachian residents should be challenged for speech brought here by settlers from the British Isles centuries ago.

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