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February 5, 2009

From the Publisher's Desk: Opinions can be shared in many ways

Ever turned to Page 4 of our newspaper, read the editorial and strongly agreed or disagreed with the opinion?

I can imagine there were times when you nodded in agreement or, conversely, thought, "What the heck were they thinking?"

Well, as an editorial board member, I certainly understand why. In fact, it is rare that all of the board members agree unanimously on our editorials. So I thought explaining how the process works would be in order.

Our editorial board consists of eight people _ seven newsroom employees and me. Once a week, we gather to discuss stories from the past week, current and future issues and formulate our opinions.

In roundtable fashion, each member suggests a topic to get it out of the gate. Then the rest of the board members chime in with their two cents, and the horse is off and running.

We operate in a democratic fashion and everyone votes on whether an idea carries.

The discussions that ensue are healthy, at times humorous and sometimes heated. Like you, we all are passionate about certain subjects and our individual backgrounds provide a needed difference of opinion.

After all members have weighed in on the debate, we determine what it is we want to say, and a proposal for an editorial is made. Then we vote.

An editorial opinion must win by at least two votes to carry. Now, I can honestly say that as publisher, I have been outvoted, and our editor has, too.

There have been times when the publisher and editor have been on the same side of a particular issue, and alas, a majority of the board members voted the other way. The editorial reflecting their opinion was printed for your enjoyment or outrage.

Has there been a recent editorial that you strongly opposed or couldn't agree more with? Want to share your thoughts with others, including our board?

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