Autumn Phillips: Sky-Hi Daily News forming first editorial board
February 28, 2008
Newcomers are idiots.
Or so it has been said.
Mountain towns have a funny way of keeping a line between newcomers and old timers.
How long it takes to cross from one side of the line to the other depends a lot on who’s standing next to you.
But what universally separates the newcomer from the old timer is knowledge ” how much you’ve seen and how many stories you have to tell.
If you’ve been here long enough, you’ve seen the signs on different buildings change names five or six times.
You know who dated whose wife years before they were married, and you probably even know why it didn’t work out.
You’ve seen mayors get elected, recalled and re-elected. Town managers come and go.
And you remember when that condo development was an open meadow full of cross country trails.
If you’ve seen all those things, you undoubtedly have formed a pile of opinions about every corner of Grand County.
And I have a job for you.
On page 6 of this newspaper, every Tuesday and Friday, myself or news editor Drew Munro publishes an editorial.
Though we spend plenty of time pacing the office, chewing the end of our pens and adjusting words and phrases and points of view, we do not put our names on what we have written.
There is no byline, because the editorial is meant to represent the opinion of this newspaper ” the Sky-Hi Daily News ” not the author.
As such, forming opinions about the political and personal workings of a county where I have lived for only six months is a daunting responsibility.
As a writer and a thinker, your opinion can only be as deep as your experience.
Since my arrival, there have been editorials I am proud of and others I think fell flat ” both based on the depth of what went into them.
Years ago, someone criticized an editorial I had written by saying, “Your reasons were shallow.” I never forgot that.
It’s one thing to disagree with my opinion, but it’s a whole other thing to feel I didn’t argue well, that I skirted the real issue or that I pulled my punch.
That represents the true failure of an editorial.
I want our readers to turn to page 6 of the Sky-Hi Daily News for thought-provoking, well-argued opinion.
Readers should feel enlightened or enraged, but I do not want them to feel disappointed.
Shallow editorials often represent insecurity on my part as a newcomer to this community.
Admitting that, I would like to call upon you, the reader, to help this newspaper broaden the scope of our editorial topics and deepen our reasons for writing them.
We want to create an editorial board that consists of four community members and three newspaper staff members ” myself, news editor Drew Munro and Publisher Kim Burner.
The volunteer board will serve in an advisory capacity, meeting once a week here at the newspaper office in Granby. Board members will serve six-month terms.
As the editor, I will still have the final say on the direction of the editorials (which will be written by Drew or myself), but by listening to others before we sit down to write ”
I hope that our Opinion page will come to truly reflect the community we are here to serve.
The ideal editorial board member will be engaged in the community ” but not an elected official or employee of an elected official.
Anyone interested in applying for this volunteer position should send a letter explaining why he or she would be a good choice. Include name, occupation, address and phone number.
Send a letter of application to Editor Autumn Phillips, Sky-Hi Daily News, drop it by the office at 424 E. Agate. Ave. in Granby or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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