EDITOR'S DESK: What's your opinion?

Published: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 11:13 AM.

In life, things change. Sometimes, newspaper staffers focus their energies on a certain story or other opportunity that seems more important at the time, and other things, inadvertently, fall by the wayside. Newton’s law of gravity states that whatever goes up must come down, and I suppose the rule reaches into other disciplines. For instance, I’ve seen the quality of my favorite TV sitcoms and dramas nosedive in their later years, and recall appointment-television newscasts making inexplicable changes to the detriment of content.

However, when it comes to the newspaper, any reason for this focal shift can’t justify the erosion and ultimate exclusion of an Opinion page. After all, newspapers celebrate freedom of speech and accountability, and those values extend far beyond the newsroom.

YaleUniversitylaw professor Thomas Emerson said that freedom of speech acts as a so-called safety valve that allows anyone to express his or her opinion without resorting to revolt.

Oprah Winfrey, in interviews explaining her daytime talk show’s massive success, stated a belief she said everyone shares: “We want to know that we matter. We want to know that we were heard and that what we had to say meant something.”

We in the newsroom see the comments readers make on Facebook, and understand that you want to be heard. Whether you’re posting about lighter concerns — like snakes you spotted in your yard — or more serious topics like motorcycle safety following a fatal crash, whether the city should involve itself more in West Nile virus prevention, or speaking out on funding for public transit, it doesn’t matter. The common thread is that you believe your voice can add to the debate, and possibly help someone or otherwise make a difference.  

We believe so, too.

This publication supports regular, robust discussion on issues you care about, and we understand how vital it is for the public to have a proverbial safety valve that allows them to let off some steam.

1 2 3

Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

▲ Return to Top

Local Faves