We are in an emerging era where the integrity of journalists and their ability to accurately report the news is under attack. Concepts such as “liberal media bias” and “alternative facts” are dividing this nation in two, with each side choosing the news outlets that reinforce a preconceived worldview. Discourse with neighbors is moving toward impossible, as each party becomes entrenched in their truth. The factual world, that resides somewhere between, is being lost.

The Sun Journal is in a position to help. I would like to see the votes of local and national politicians covered in a narrative-free format — a daily spreadsheet, or similar format could provide a simple accounting of the previous day’s legislation. The chart would include the name of a bill, description of a bill as written by its sponsor and a record of each representative voting “yea” or “nay.”

Such a format would allow readers to hold their elected officials accountable without having to filter out the lens provided by a journalist. I would also ask that official names of bills ( HR 232 or LD 111) be included in standard coverage so readers can easily locate and read the bills for themselves.

Such changes would allow Republicans, Democrats, independents, Greens and other individuals to better assess the alignment of their representatives’ actions with their interests.

It is my hope that raw data can cut through bias and Mainers will have the opportunity to build coalitions based on shared values, rather than party affiliation.

Amanda Peralta, North Turner, member Political Action Coalition of Turner

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