April 28, 2022
Mr. Steve Saslow, Publisher
Medford Mail Tribune
Dear Mr. Saslow:
For the last couple of years, I, as a private citizen, have taken notes of the Tuesday and Thursday Jackson County Board of Commissioner meetings. I began publishing those notes on Facebook, a private email distribution list and, more recently, the Ashland Chronicle. My readership grew to reach hundreds of readers. I cannot determine the exact number. I have received numerous thanks for providing a public service to citizens, public officials at the local and state level and others who are active in creating the state budget.
The choice you made to accuse Terrie Martin and others who signed the editorial of defamation and lying is, in my opinion, a travesty against free speech. Terrie expressed her opinion. As a citizen of these United States, she should be able to do so.
As result of your aggressive, intimidating and repressive actions I no longer take and publish notes of the Jackson County Board of Commissioner meetings. I do not have the financial resources to defend myself should you decide to accuse me of defamation or some other actionable offense.
Your newspaper benefited from those notes since your staff used them to identify topics of interest that deserved additional investigation. Essentially, I functioned as an unpaid news source for your newspaper.
In my opinion, your stance is unprofessional; your stance stifles free speech; and your stance means that the public will no longer have a valuable source of information available to them of what transpires at public Board of Commissioner meetings. I am truly disgusted.