The Broom is back!.. after a brief absence [The StrayTaoist again? – Ed].. and on form too.. linking to this Down Democrat response to Sinn Féin’s criticism of their coverage of the Denis Donaldson affair – as noted here and here. In it the Down Democrat makes an important point about such criticism from a political party – “The role of the Press however is to chronicle events and to question authority and to place in the public domain issues that require public scrutiny.” The Broom has the full article hereSome extracts –

Sinn Fein has also criticised the validity of the articles published by the Democrat and even goes as far to question the motives behind their publication.

What Sinn Fein does not say is that the party’s Press Office was made fully aware well in advance of publication in the January 3 edition of this newspaper of the complete contents of the Donaldson articles.

The Down Democrat also states –

A party spokesman has since questioned the Down Democrat revelations about serious discontent within Sinn Fein as relayed by a significant number of individual members.

Sinn Fein claimed that they had “investigated the source of some of the claims contained in the articles.”

As a result a party spokesman said the party was “confident that the people responsible for contacting the Down Democrat were “not party members.’

However as the Down Democrat sources are only know to this newspaper it is difficult to comprehend how Sinn Fein could investigate “some of the claims.”

One must also ask why, if they were in a position to investigate the allegations about very important matters pertaining to the very credibility of Sinn Fein, it didn’t investigate all the claims.

And later in the article –

It is not the choice of the media. Equally it is not the responsibility of the Down Democrat that members of a political party feel it necessary to articulate their collective frustration through this newspaper.

It is an indictment however of a party that prides itself on its democratic structures that long serving supporters of Sinn Fein feel so disillusioned with the calibre of elements of their leadership in South Down that they have chosen the path of print to protest their resentment at the way they have been treated.

The Down Democrat is not in a position to judge whether those individuals are justified in their discontent and their reservations over the wider ramifications of the Donaldson intelligence agenda.

The role of the Press however is to chronicle events and to question authority and to place in the public domain issues that require public scrutiny.

Read the full article here.. or here

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