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John Flanagan: I suppose one might accept the fact that, depending on the issue, this reader is expressing the desire to see newspapers strive for more objectivity and less partisanship. While editors should not be denied their right to express subjective points of view on current issues, many people like Elaine prefer they remain somewhat analytical, delivering the full facts like an honest surgeon describing a medical condition without prejudice. I agree with Elaine for two reasons, and at the same time I agree with the right of an editor to articulate an opinion on issues affecting our lives. Elaine is right to expect a balanced approach to reporting and editorializing. She is also right to be suspicious of the editorial writer whose piece promotes one view and is weak on considering the other side. Yet, who can deny the editor of a paper the right to fight for their point of view and express convictions deeply believed? Editorial content may give an editor a strong feeling of individual worth and participation in the culture, but in presenting strong opinions for one side automatically alienates them from the offended party. With a third of Arizona voters being conservative Republicans, about another third independents, and the remaining third Democrats, newspapers here are sure to lose readers and subscriptions by leaning to far left or right. This translates into a financial loss of advertising revenues; and this is no small thing for the struggling small press industry. In my view, the Explorer should always use editorials as a means for dialogue, and should allow a pro and con approach, depicting two sides or more. The readers will then have the opportunity to think for themselves and, for the most part, they will appreciate the fair and balanced approach of the editors. Readership would increase, and the reputation for fairness and non-partisanship would not go unnoticed. An example of a partisan paper which has lost readers because of their failure to be objective is the Arizona Daily Star, a paper I quit over a year ago. Like MSNBC and other liberal media, it is a paper I no longer respect. I am not alone. Others have also discontinued even reading the Star. I suppose they do not care about objectivity and hope more liberal readers will replace many of the conservatives they have lost, and will continue to lose. If the Explorer wants to be a paper in which the community can admire, it is best to acquire a strong reputation for objectivity. It is by no means a bad paper at present, and it is worthwhile reading. It is supportive of the community. But life is fragile in the print media, and even one biased editorial which promotes only one side of an argument can resonate with readers and offend some to the point of abandoning a paper for good.
Thursday, July 18, 2013, 9:14 am
Signing in from multiple locations may be the cause.