Editor’s Column: Are you for or against?

mug2016_2There’s an Old Testament Bible story about Joshua meeting up with the Angel of the Lord before a battle. Joshua asked the angel whose side he was on and the angel cryptically replied, “Neither.” That story, which I always found rather confusing, keeps coming back to me as I attempt to navigate all of the conflicting opinions I hear every week. You know what they say about opinions… right? I’ve come to this conclusion: the role of the newspaper is to provide facts. If the public chooses to respond, we have a place for that on the opinion pages. But we are choosing not to take sides. That might not make for good controversy, but it means we’re leaving public discourse to the people to whom it belongs: the public. I believe when enough light is focused on an issue, questions will be answered and motives revealed, without the media trying to tell us what we should believe. When people are given a forum in which to share their opinions on a subject, several things will occur: everyone will have a better understanding of all sides of an issue and be better equipped to come to terms that are in the best interests of all, or selfish motives for promoting or opposing something will be exposed, or actual weaknesses in a plan or idea will be revealed. Of course, for those things to happen, we, the public, have to be paying attention to the facts of a matter, not just swallowing whatever the most strident or the most charming voice is saying. As the public, we need to be listening, carefully, to what’s being said. Then we need to take that one step further and ask why it’s being said, and how that affects the perception of the facts.

The Rangely Polar Plunge, though more sub-tropical than polar this year, was fun to watch. And, I notice that the Rangely events I’ve made it to always feel like a big family get-together. It’s a small-town atmosphere that’s hard to describe, but very cool to see and experience.

I read a study this week that people who read the print version of a newspaper tend to be better informed than folks who just click on specific articles online. Why? Because when you have the print edition, you’re more likely to read all the articles, not just the ones that jump out at you because of a headline or subject matter. At 50¢ a week it’s one of the cheapest things you can do to become a more informed citizen of your community.

Thanksgiving week is challenging for a newspaper that comes out on Thursday. It means our entire week “falls back” by a full day. It’s like the end of Daylight Saving Time on steroids. If you have something for next week’s paper (which will be distributed on Wednesday), don’t delay getting it to the office, whether it’s advertising or editorial. The official deadline for next week’s paper is Friday at 5 p.m.

Good luck to the Meeker Cowboys football team this weekend! It’s going to be a great game!