Letter: Journalists lack ethics in Krabloonik coverage | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Journalists lack ethics in Krabloonik coverage

Journalists lack ethics in Krabloonik coverage

What happened to responsible journalism?

The following are the four main principals of the code of ethics as written by the Society of Professional Journalists:

• Seek the truth and report it.

• Minimize harm.

• Act independently

• Be accountable

The Society of Professional Journalists’ code of ethics is voluntarily embraced by thousands of journalists, regardless of place or platform, and is widely used in newsrooms and classrooms as a guide for ethical behavior. The code is intended not as a set of “rules” but as a resource for ethical decision-making.

“Some” local journalists and newspaper columnists who have written about Krabloonik don’t seem to care about the code of ethics. “Some” feel they have the right to criticize and be the judge and jury with their printed words or influence others to write their words. What happened to responsible journalism?

Leigh Vogel, now, an ex-employee of The Aspen Times, in particular, has crossed the line and has become a radical activist to take down a business. Where’s the independence when you are the leading mouthpiece of an activist group and a journalist reporting on the same topic? How did the newspaper editor allow this to happen?

I find it troubling that Leigh Vogel is such an outspoken individual against Krabloonik and Dan MacEachen. While she is entitled to her opinion, I question how she claims to know so much about Krabloonik and Dan. She has never worked at Krabloonik nor visited in some time and does not know Dan. She only knows what information Guy Courtney and disgruntled mushers have told her.

Let me remind you that there have been hundreds of mushers who have worked at Krabloonik that have nothing but positive things to say. These few people are her tools, literally and figuratively. She uses them to get information she wants in order to sway the public opinion on Krabloonik. That may be acceptable to some, but it is not seeking the truth. A little background check on a few of these people may tell a different tale.

Leigh Vogel has her own agenda. A “national campaign to shut down Krabloonik” and Voices is the platform for her cause. Vogel has violated the basic ethics of journalism with her employment at The Aspen Times.

I also find it troubling that Doug Allen, in his latest rant of a column for the Aspen Daily News, thinks that Dan MacEachen owes him any kind of consideration after the false and malicious statements he has written. His column posing questions and making false statements shows his ignorance. Who does he think he is to expect answers from Dan and what would he do with the responses? Write an honest and factual review? Of course not. His statements are in large part false and he has no knowledge of a dogsledding operation. Allen should be fired and never allowed to return to journalism because of his outrageous breach of the code of ethics by calling the Pitkin County district attorney to further his own personal vindictive agenda.

It is amazing that in beautiful Snowmass and Aspen there are so many angry, hurtful and judgmental people who would rather throw poison darts with little factual information, when they could contribute their energies to more positive causes like Challenge Aspen or The Buddy Program. Your energy is wasted on disseminating accusations and building a case through the press and social media. What is your purpose in life? Being helpful or hurtful?

Leigh Vogel is a leader in the Voices for the Krabloonik Dogs. Vogel has been given the ability to run free, influence articles and cause a family custody and support matter to be a public platform for her personal gain. How can she and the paper she worked for be trusted? There is a serious conflict of interest here.

Now The Aspen Times needs to make the decision to never re-hire Leigh Vogel since; she repeatedly violated the code of ethics, and re-establish some credibility back to The Aspen Times’ journalism.

Mary Lou MacEachen Wasco

Doylestown, Pa.

Editor’s note: As a part-time photographer for the Times, Leigh Vogel did not cover, in any capacity, the Krabloonik story as the letter writer alleges.