Like it, or not
L ast weekís column in this space generated a fair amount of response, mostly on social media and mostly critical.
For the record, I donít mind.
The purpose of an opinion column isnít to please someone. In fact, writing an opinion piece with the goal of making someone happy is a foolís errand. Express an opinion in public, or do anything to attract public attention, and you will be criticized, especially these days. Itís a fact of life and an occupational reality that Iíve long since accepted.
Any good columnistís real purpose should be to inspire thought in his or her readers. Sometimes, I attempt to do that by relating stories about my family. Sometimes I write about sports. And sometimes I express my opinion on politics or current events.
When you write about politics, of course, there is simply no way to avoid being criticized. If I had written last week in support of a proposed stand-your-ground law and against hate-crime legislation, I would have been criticized for that. Instead, I took the other position, because thatís my true opinion ó whether an individual reader likes it or not.
As Iíve stated many times, my job isnít to make friends. As managing editor of this newspaper, my most important function is to ensure that our news coverage is accurate, objective and fair. Itís our duty to inform our readers about whatís going on in their community, and I promise you that duty is always top of mind for me and every member of our news staff.
Sometimes, doing our duty doesnít make us very popular. But this isnít a popularity contest.
Itís in vogue these days to be openly hostile toward the media, thanks in large part to a narcissistic president who seeks to discredit legitimate journalism at every opportunity. I suppose thatís an occupational reality now, too. But it doesnít change our mission as journalists or our duty to our readers. And it wonít change how we cover the news.
As an opinion-page columnist, I have more latitude to express my personal opinion than I do in a news report. So, every now and then, Iím going to tell you exactly how I feel about certain subjects.
Some of you will agree with me immediately. Some will disagree just as quickly. My hope is that some of you will take some time to think about what Iíve written and consider my point of view.
Either way, Iíll keep writing and I hope youíll keep reading. And, of course, we welcome letters to the editor. Let us know what you think, too!