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Where the Press Has Failed the Public

Regarding the Opinion page column "Of Newspapers and Their Imperatives," April 7: It is the rare exception rather than the rule that our metropolitan newspapers strive, in a timely fashion, to fully inform the public about significant happenings that profoundly affect our lives.

More often than not we learn long after the crucial event what the truth was all about: the complicity of oil industry moguls, the CIA, and the sustained support of a brutal regime in El Salvador to the tune of $6 billion dollars over many years. The leading papers of the United States press have repeated a litany of lies and misinformation put forth by government spokespeople about the virtues of the rotten regimes in El Salvador.

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On the domestic front, the effective coverup of the impending Savings & Loan scandal was profound disservice to the public. As a whistle blower in the public interest, the press rates an F.

The columnists and host of editors should remove their rose-colored glasses in evaluating the social performance of the US press. The concentration of ownership and the dependence on advertising volume for profits have transformed the press into big business with most of the undesirable qualities of big business - arrogant control of substantive content, coddling of its peers in finance and manufacturing while acting as sycophants to government press agents who regard public deception as standard procedu re.

The critical reader who tries to be well informed on the controversial issues of the times must look elsewhere than metropolitan newspapers for understanding. The failure of the press is a prelude to the failure of American democracy. H. Dale Turner, Puyallup, Wash.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please fax letters to (617) 450-2317 or address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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