There is always more than one side to the story. Everybody knows that, it's common sense. It's also common sense that if you provide all sides of the story, people will make up their own minds. This newspaper aims to do that - all sides, every story.
When people in powerful positions choose to not provide their side of the story, our readers are poorer for it, as are the people who refuse to provide it.
Australian War Memorial director Dr Brendan Nelson recently spoke on ABC Radio Canberra about the redevelopment of the war memorial.
He talked about the plans, the controversy surrounding it, and his belief that it needed to happen. He answered questions and was keen to share his thoughts. Unfortunately for readers of The Canberra Times, the same opportunity for questions to be asked and answered hasn't always been forthcoming
"If you read the local paper, The Canberra Times, you'd certainly think there is significant overwhelming opposition to it," Dr Nelson told Adam Shirley. "But my experience of it is is that is not the case."
Dr Nelson is correct that this newspaper has published stories airing criticisms of the cost of the redevelopment. Dr Nelson has been approached for comment for each and every story we've published.
But as it stands, Dr Nelson has opted against responding to many of the specific complaints. He was offered the opportunity to explain via an opinion piece why the half-a-billion-dollar redevelopment was needed, however he declined.
While his general commentary on the redevelopment plans go some way to alleviating the concern in the community, what's also needed are responses to the specific concerns that have been raised.
Dr Nelson told ABC that every person he'd met had nothing negative to say about the plans. This is somewhat surprising. There are certainly Canberrans who would share a different view with Dr Nelson if given the chance.
Among these are correspondents to the letters pages of this newspaper, many of whom have expressed opposition. And there are the experts in fields including military history and architecture who have said that this money could be better spent elsewhere. The strong sentiment from many of these people is that there needs to be more scrutiny of this process.
Of course you'll rarely have full agreement on any project, minor or major. But more engagement with those who have expressed their concerns or opposition would strengthen the memorial's case that it enjoys broad public support.
Dr Nelson has been given opportunities to respond to the concerns of the readers of The Canberra Times.
The invitation remains very much open.
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