Editor’s column We’re hyperlocal, and we’re staying that way

Niki Turner is the owner and editor of the Rio Blanco Herald Times.
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Niki Turner is the owner and editor of the Rio Blanco Herald Times.

If you are a supporter of a political position and want to share your message, you are welcome to write a letter to the editor. at no charge to you (it’s not free for us).
If you want us to promote your particular position, you are more than welcome to purchase advertising. If you just want the newspaper to support your position for free, that’s not how this works.
You might have a terrific point to make, or an amazing campaign spiel, or be particularly passionate about something. That doesn’t make your opinion newsworthy. It makes it suitable for a letter to the editor.
We were asked again last week why we haven’t “covered” the current political recall campaigns (which should have submitted their lists for verification last weekend).
I am aware that many people in our county are hell bent for leather to see the current governor recalled, and I understand where they’re coming from. Polis visited Meeker during his campaign and I don’t see him living up to what he said he would do for NW Colorado (see last week’s post about campaigning and dating). More residents are deeply distressed by the bid to get rid of our Colorado electoral college votes.
So why haven’t we reported on these topics? Other papers have, including our neighboring Craig Press.
Here’s our reasoning, right or wrong:
First: We’re working hard to stay within our sphere of influence, which is hyperlocal news coverage. We cover the local news no one else is covering. We don’t cover the state capitol (we might mention it if our commissioners are testifying) and we don’t cover the Denver Broncos. That’s out of our realm.
Second: If we start covering one group’s political ideology in news stories, we’re obligated to cover both sides of that ideology. That’s journalism. That means if we run a story promoting the recall, to abide by the ethical code of journalism, we must run a story opposing the recall campaign.

We’re thrilled to welcome Paige Jones to the team this week. Paige comes to us with energy, zest, a plethora of skills and perhaps most importantly, a love for the community. She’s been writing for our magazines for a couple years while she was at college. Now she’ll be writing for the paper, selling ads, and helping us build and promote our new products and services: social media management, graphic design, printing projects and more. With Paige on board, we now have the ability to keep all those services local. After all, who knows your business—and your customers—better than the local newspaper?


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