If you haven’t already heard, I made a mistake last week. It goes against our editorial policy to publish the name of a business in an opinion piece (unless it’s a glowing thank-you letter), and yet, that very thing happened.
I could list a dozen reasons — both personal and professional — to explain how that slipped past my editorial filter, but none of those reasons matter. What does matter is that because of my lapse, people were hurt and offended.
I’m extending a public apology to the business owners, Larin and Danielle. There was absolutely no intention to malign you or your business. I’m also extending an apology to our readers and fellow community members. There was also no intention to denigrate our community, as some have assumed.
Early last week Paige and I discussed publishing a piece that would address the challenge small towns like Meeker — and rural communities nationwide — have when it comes to attracting and retaining the next generation. That was the intended topic of the column. I still believe it’s a subject that needs to be discussed. Unfortunately, my editorial lapse blew our opportunity to engage in that conversation. I hope the topic can be broached in the future.
There will be times when we have to publish news stories that make people uncomfortable, stories that expose things people would rather keep under wraps, and stories that aren’t necessarily pleasant. There are times we will publish opinion pieces and letters to the editor about controversial subjects. Those are entirely different scenarios than what occurred last week.
Last week was my mistake, and one for which I am deeply sorry. In response, we are evaluating our internal workflow and making adjustments to prevent this particular kind of error from happening again.
As 2019 comes to a close, and we ring in not just a new year but a new decade, may peace find its way into all of our hearts and minds.
By Niki Turner | firstname.lastname@example.org