Every week someone on our staff sits down to hammer out an editorial. The purpose of which is simple: to get folks thinking. Previous editorial topics have included the big stuff – “Get involved with local government to help shape future of county” or “Opiod epidemic impact hurts all Americans” – to the small – “Play to live better – Ferris Bueller was right. You need a day off sometimes.” And even the funny – “In praise of air conditioning: the best necessary luxury.”
Sometimes these little gems of a weekly columns come as easy to write as our ABC’s and other times it’s like pulling teeth to come up with something to espouse upon.
But we get it done. In fact, we do it 52 times a year, putting forward an opinion on some topic that, we hope, is important to our readers. We do this to encourage readers to think about issues and ideas that are relevant to our community.
Perhaps the best part about editorials are the responses they elicit from readers. Whether readers agree or disagree, we love to hear what you think. That’s the point of editorial writing. In its truest sense the art of an editorial should be a starting point, not a final statement. We always welcome constructive responses to an actual topic, not just a verbal or written rebuke of us personally.
Whenever anyone expresses an opinion there are naturally others whose ideas contrast, and sometimes contrast sharply. That’s expected and the expression of counterpoints is encouraged on our letters page. That’s what it’s all about. Whether we agree or disagree personally has no bearing on if something gets printed.
There are always two sides, or more, to every story. As our school superintendent said recently about his time as a classroom history teacher, he wanted to hear students explain why they held a certain opinion. We do too.
After reading an editorial in our paper, we would love to know a reader thought: “Well I don’t agree with that at all but I understand now why someone else might hold that opinion.”
Too often, the line between thoughtful dialogue and banal ranting becomes lost among shouting voices but one of the purposes for a community newspaper is to let people present their thoughts and ideas – regardless of what they may be. Everyone has an opinion, and they are entitled to that opinion and its expression.
Editorials and their responses can alert readers to important public issues and problems, spotlight wrongdoing, and advocate for community improvements.
So while you may not share our conclusions we hope they make you reflect on the issues our community faces and consider further why you may not agree with us at all.
Thanks for missing us
And by the way – thanks for missing us and what we do. Two weeks ago, a compressor overheated at the press in Rome, Ga. stopping midway through the Progress run. This caused a delay of several hours and the papers didn’t arrive as usual at our Main Street office first thing in the morning. They arrived just after lunch, but the delay threw off many readers’ weekly ritual.
We had numerous people call that morning letting us know the papers weren’t in the racks.
One person called asking if the building had burned down. A convenience store owner called to say she had about 100 disappointed customers because of the delay and wanted to know what was going on.
And one person called asking if we had gone to online only.
We appreciate being missed. When we get complaints about slow delivery, we do our best to see what the problem is and take it as a compliment – readers want what we publish without delay. One lady who has subscribed for years and has a pet she adopted after seeing it in our pets of the week (Page 9B) said her favorite time of the week is sitting on the front porch when the mailman brings her Progress Thursday. When it’s late that’s a problem. We agree.
We are glad to be missed. Thank You.