Making a preemptive strike on our Opinion page

As the elections grow more tense the closer we get to November, the climate of unsubstantiated facts and accusatory rants is slowly spreading from the political stage to social media posts, lines at the supermarket, between pews at church and in the letters we’ve been receiving for our Opinion page at Siuslaw News. For today’s editorial, I felt the need to remind people about the the purpose of the Opinion page, why it’s so important to our democracy… And why, as editor, I have to protect it before it gets too out of hand.

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It’s time to close… The Door. So let’s open… The Box!

The Door, a sentinel of journalistic  milestones and witness to the occasional kidney stone, is closed pending any new developments, i.e. screw-ups..

The Door, a sentinel of journalistic milestones and witness to the occasional kidney stone, is closed pending any new developments, i.e. screw-ups..

It’s been almost a year since I opened The Door (of Shame, Blame and Brilliance) in our newsroom to readers, and together we have shared 38 pieces of newspaper faux pas that Siuslaw News reporters have pasted, taped and otherwise adhered to The Door by any means possible since the 1970s. In that time, we have witnessed inventive photo cutlines such as “Shoppers shopping at shops” and entirely too many references to “probes and probing.” We’ve been informed of the obvious, such as how “wearing more clothing can help keep you warmer,” and how easily one wrong letter can lead to senior citizens “crapping themselves in a blanket.”

It’s no wonder The Door has become a journalistic Mecca, capturing the attention of well-known reporters like Barbara Walters (“The Door offers a pureness to journalism I haven’t seen since Anderson Cooper’s booty”), Morley Safer (“Do people still use ditto machines?”), Keith Morrison (“No one knows what seeeeecrets hide behind The Dooooor, especially if someone has flushhhhed”), Geraldo Rivera (“My sources have confirmed Al Capone once used The Door.”), and Anderson Cooper (“Unless it’s a closet door, I’m not interested — and can someone please tell Barbara Walters to stop looking at my butt?”) Continue reading