Tuesday, January 27, 2004
Does it get much better than this?
In September of 2003, I joined the Editorial Board of the Steamboat Pilot & Today as one of two new community members. I was given an open invitation to comment on local government, schools, and other community issues. As a woman often noted for my strong opinions, the idea was appealing and irresistible. I was honored to have been asked to share my opinions on the community so near to my heart. The road the Editorial Board took me on surpassed my wildest imagination.
At our first meeting, the editor and the publisher made sure that we felt comfortable offering our thoughts. Our views were instantly brought into the current of ideas that surged around the table. As new members, our ideas were readily debated and considered, just as those of the staff themselves. These exchanges were often intellectually challenging and stimulating. It was refreshing to be a part of the group that shapes such a crucial section of the paper.
As in other areas of community service, the ability to embrace a community perspective was one that I fully welcomed. The newspaper's editorial page is geared not only to inform, but to shape public opinion as well. The concept of collective good is all too often absent from community dialogue.
The notion that editorials should represent one segment of community thought is limiting and unproductive. The role of the newspaper editorial is to broaden the scope of discussion, illuminating various sides of an issue. Editorials serve as a springboard for ideas, helping the community as a whole ascertain best course of action.
Like many readers, I have often wondered how editorial decisions were made. I have disagreed with many of the conclusions reached when reading the twice-weekly feature. However, after my four months of service, I realize how deeply these editorial decisions are researched and how thoroughly they are discussed prior to printing. I have been uniformly impressed with the thought process that goes into the editorials. We as readers may not always agree with the finished product, but we should be aware that editorial decisions are not arrived at easily.
I thank those I have met for their profound impact of broadening my horizons. It has been my privilege to serve on the editorial board and I encourage anyone who has the interest and the time to apply.
Paula Cooper Black served on the Steamboat Pilot & Today Editorial Board in the fall of 2003. Those interested interested in serving a future term on the board should contact Editor Scott Stanford at firstname.lastname@example.org
or by calling 871-4221