Welcoming spring and diverse opinions: A message from E&P's Editor-in-Chief


Happy Spring! By the time you read this, I hope to be planting vegetables and flowers in my backyard. Spring is my very favorite season, and I especially love living in Tennessee, where I can fully experience the seasons — sometimes all in one day.

We have a very full issue for April, with a lot of content that I hope you’ll enjoy. We’re launching a news column, “Public Pulse: Executive Insights on Public Media,” which I think will be of interest even if you’re not in public media.

 One of our features, “Opinions count,” is an important dive into opinion and editorial content. I’m old enough to remember the phrase, “The views and opinions expressed in this [program] are those of the speakers and do not reflect the views or positions of the [station].” That disclaimer still rings in my ears when I think about opinion and editorial.

I struggle with my editorial every month. (Another item to add to your list of “Too many things I know about Robin Blinder.”) However, I don’t look at my editorial as an opportunity to make a statement; it’s a time to introduce an item of interest in that particular issue. Every editorial says something from me personally, but it presents the reporting in the article I’m highlighting.

The editors featured in this month’s story are making statements and giving opinion, but they are doing it supported by information and facts. They are doing deep dive reporting, just as the rest of the newsroom writers. Their stories, backed up by facts, are couched in opinion and clearly labeled as such.

In some publications, opinion and editorial writing has gone the way of the teletype machine. It’s either looked at with disdain or nostalgia. I think (my opinion, here) much of that comes from the partisan divide that has grown in this country, and I find it sad how difficult it has become to have healthy, robust discussion without attacks.

It was heartening for me to read a statement by Julieta Chiquillo, deputy editorial page editor at The Dallas Morning News: “Our readers appreciate reading what other people are saying. We get notes that say, ‘I’m glad you published these letters because even if I disagree with those writers’ perspectives, it gives me a sense of what other people are thinking.’ … Our readers are, by and large, polite people. It’s a nice reminder of what we have in common — and that we can disagree and still be pleasant with each other.” That quote alone raised my opinion of humanity.

If you don’t currently have an opinion or editorial section, maybe you’ll consider it. The editorial writers interviewed for this article and their counterparts are in the service business of journalism just as any other journalist. And, as always, I’d love to hear about what your organization is doing in this area.

Enjoy  Spring — whatever that means. Plant your garden. Smell the flowers. Feel the sun on your face. And continue to express your opinion. After all, everyone has one.

Robin Blinder is E&P's editor-in-chief. She has been with E&P for four years. When she isn’t digging in her garden, she can be reached at robin@editorandpublisher.com.


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here