Recent news reports have highlighted Sinclair Broadcasting Corporation’s politically motivated control over the content of its local television news stations. Sinclair currently owns more than 170 stations across the country, including two local stations, KVAL and KMTR.

Problematically, Sinclair Broadcasting mandates that local news stations promote a particular political point of view both in “must-read” statements and mandatory “news” segments. I believe local audiences are not aware of how Sinclair’s control of local stations can affect the independence and integrity of our local news.

While Sinclair’s interference with local journalistic independence goes back two decades, it has become increasingly problematic in the age of President Trump. The Washington Post reported in 2016 that Sinclair stations gave more airtime to favorable reports of Trump than to his political opponents. Many of those reports were distributed to local stations as “must-run” segments.

Personally, as a longtime fan of KVAL News, it pains me to say that it is imperative to protect democratic values and the free press by sending a message to Sinclair in one way or another.

For my part, I will no longer view KVAL, KMTR or any other Sinclair-owned station.

Geoffrey Barrett