In Support of Free Press…

Dear Editor,

I am writing to you because of the assault committed by Greg Gianforte, candidate and now winner of the special election in Montana. My husband and I have many relatives and friends who live in Montana, including all of our grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I do not believe that Mr. Gianforte is someone who should be representing them. Not only did Mr. Gianforte assault a reporter, he then lied and tried to cover up what really happened. What he did was wrong and his actions show that he is not someone of the right character to be in public office.

A reporter should be able to ask a question without fear of being assaulted, arrested or bullied. Ask yourself how you would feel if the reporter was your son or your daughter, or someone you knew, who was grabbed by the throat, thrown to the ground and punched by the candidate? Be honest.

Please support a free press. Buy a subscription to your local paper(s) and buy another one to a newspaper in a different area of the country. Thank a reporter. I don’t always agree with everything published in my local paper, but I appreciate the job that reporters do and it is my hope that they will report both sides of an issue with fairness and honesty.

Thank you, employees of the Sandpoint Reader. The job that you do has never been more important.

Connie Burkhart


We appreciate your sentiments and agree whole-heartedly with your opinion about Mr. Gianforte. There is never an excuse for physical violence, especially when it is directed toward a reporter who was simply doing his job.

-Ben Olson, publisher

While we have you ...

... if you appreciate that access to the news, opinion, humor, entertainment and cultural reporting in the Sandpoint Reader is freely available in our print newspaper as well as here on our website, we have a favor to ask. The Reader is locally owned and free of the large corporate, big-money influence that affects so much of the media today. We're supported entirely by our valued advertisers and readers. We're committed to continued free access to our paper and our website here with NO PAYWALL - period. But of course, it does cost money to produce the Reader. If you're a reader who appreciates the value of an independent, local news source, we hope you'll consider a voluntary contribution. You can help support the Reader for as little as $1.

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The Sandpoint Reader is our town's local, independent weekly newspaper. "Independent" means that the Reader is locally owned, in a partnership between Publisher Ben Olson and Keokee Co. Publishing, the media company owned by Chris Bessler that also publishes Sandpoint Magazine and Sandpoint Online. Sandpoint Reader LLC is a completely independent business unit; no big newspaper group or corporate conglomerate or billionaire owner dictates our editorial policy. And we want the news, opinion and lifestyle stories we report to be freely available to all interested readers - so unlike many other newspapers and media websites, we have NO PAYWALL on our website. The Reader relies wholly on the support of our valued advertisers, as well as readers who voluntarily contribute. Want to ensure that local, independent journalism survives in our town? You can help support the Reader for as little as $1.