Thursday, June 21, 2007

Editorial: "City-county land swap a win-win deal"

Repackage yesterday's page one, add a gratuitous reference to dated cowboy culture, and call it good. The unnamed Courier editor's job is easy.

OK, here's what really bugs me about this.

The constitutional role of the press is to inform the voter so that the voter is equipped to make informed decisions about public policy. An editorial is a position on public policy taken by the news organization as a whole, which is why editorials are traditionally unsigned. The purpose of a newspaper publicly endorsing what amounts to a political position is a call to action by the public, presumably informed by the editor's knowledge and analysis.

So the time to take a position is before the political decision is made, hopefully far enough in advance that voters have time to weigh in effectively. Editorials like this, reacting to the end of a long series of events and applauding from the sidelines, or like yesterday's, reacting to something on TV that has absolutely nothing to do with our community, demonstrate a weak grasp of the editor's responsibility to the community. The top left corner should never be treated as filler.

Update, 11:20: Relinked.

1 comment:

leftturnclyde said...

yup , the Courier seems to play this annoying game of either getting all the information on an issue out after its too late for the voters to be fully informed or acting as though they are shocked,SHOCKED!,when an issue the paper has supported turns out to be yet another abuse of what little political process we have access to around here.