Wednesday’s Coastal Courier included a letter to the editor that questioned Liberty Regional Medical Center’s accreditation by the Joint Commission. The letter writer’s source was a website published by the Partnership for Health and Accountability, www.gahospitalqualitycheck.org. While this is a legitimate site, the information regarding Liberty Regional had not been updated and was incorrect. Liberty Regional Medical Center is accredited by the Joint Commission.
A newspaper’s opinion page is a forum for citizens to express their views and opinions, and when letter writers insinuate or make allegations against a person or entity, editors attempt to confirm whether these allegations are true and give the letter writer the option of clarifying the letter or withdrawing the letter from publication.
In this case, we referenced the website referred to by the writer, confirmed that the site was legitimate and published the letter. In fact, the website was wrong.
Editorial decisions are not always clear-cut, but in this case, we think it’s important to acknowledge when we were not as thorough as we could have been in confirming an allegation. We do regret that.