Journalism 101

It's good to know that high school newspaper stories such as my piece on County Executive Douglas M. Duncan are being recognized by major media outlets such as The Washington Post [Montgomery Notebook, Extra, Nov. 17]. That said, I was disappointed with your reporter's insinuation that, as a student of Montgomery County public schools, I should be so grateful to Duncan that I ought to wholeheartedly endorse his gubernatorial campaign.

I would mainly like to respond to the Duncan campaign's charge that my piece was ghostwritten by the Martin O'Malley campaign. Flattering as it is that Jody Couser, a Duncan campaign spokeswoman, would think that a high school journalist would be subjected to pressure from a gubernatorial campaign, the O'Malley camp had no idea I was writing a piece on Duncan and never supplied me with information.

Finally, I would have been delighted to have represented the Duncan team's views regarding my concerns about their candidate's indebtedness to developers. In fact, I communicated with a member of the Duncan campaign via telephone and e-mail for three weeks and never received answers to what I continue to see as substantial questions about his record. I hope that in the future, The Post will consider contacting Silver Chips writers before publishing stories that mention them.

Thanks for reading Silver Chips!

Jordan Fein