April 3, 2014

Editorial: Editorials meant to show opinion

We had to chuckle a little when someone posted a comment online recently telling us our editorials “are slanted.”

That’s the idea, actually.

People don’t always understand newspaper lingo. They will call up to try to find a copy of an “ad” that ran about such-and-such topic. It will turn out to be a news article they were looking for.

Or they will reference an “article” that turns out to be a Letter to the Editor or a Speakout, both of which are entries written by people outside the Press-Republican and sent in for publication.

We thought we would explain our Editorial Page a bit.

The Viewpoint (what you are reading now) represents the Press-Republican’s opinion on an issue in the news. While some newspapers predominately opine on international and national issues, we focus mostly on what is happening in our region. That doesn’t mean you won’t read about national or state issues; we just try to put them into the perspective of their impact on this area.

The Viewpoint — the majority but not all of which are written by the editor in chief — is the collective opinion of all members of the Editorial Board: Publisher Bob Parks, Editor in Chief Lois Clermont, News Editor Suzanne Moore and Features Editor Nathan Ovalle.

We consider it our duty in Viewpoints to evaluate proposals, stimulate public discourse, support initiatives that will enhance the North Country and raise questions that need to be aired.

But we don’t do all the talking on the Editorial Page. It is the section of the paper where contrasting opinions are published. Letters are welcome from people representing all viewpoints: conservative, liberal and everything in between.

The best editorial pages offer space for all perspectives, and we strive for that. We are sometimes urged to ban certain letter writers because others don’t like their point of view. We try to make all writers express themselves with civility while giving them latitude to speak strongly. That is sometimes a difficult balance. We have let through one or two that we regretted.

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