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Group protests Rapid City Journal editorial policies

By Victoria Wicks
Editorial policies of the Rapid City Journal drew a small protest this weekend. Members of Peace & Justice and Occupy Rapid City, along with Native activists, stood in front of the Journal’s headquarters on Main Street to protest a fifteen dollar fee for political letters to the editor and the management’s decision not to print a column about Indian boarding schools.
Greg Olson says he realizes the Journal has to make some editorial choices, but he says charging fifteen dollars for political letters discriminates against the poor.
“I don’t know that not having money determines your ability to speak and have an opinion anywhere else,” Olson says.
Peace & Justice state chairman Jim Petersen agrees.
“That’s two and a half hours of take-home pay at minimum wage,” he says. “You going to feed your family, or are you going to have a political voice? So we have a huge problem with that.”
Protesters also disputed the Journal’s refusal to print a column about boarding school trauma, as it was written, by Jim Kent, who writes a weekly column for the Journal and also contributes to SDPB radio.
Protesters say they support the Journal, but they want editorial policies to include a wider community view.
Rapid City Journal management declined to comment. An online search indicates that no other daily papers in the state charge for political letters to the editor.