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Consider the pages of this newspaper

January 23, 2016 • Editorial

TomLet’s start with this page.

This is the Editorial Page, the most opinionated page in the Roswell Daily Record. As editor, I’m responsible for its content, so you can blame me if any cartoon is too racy, a column is too off base or a letter writer is too offensive.

I don’t personally agree with everything placed on this page, but that’s not the intent of the page. Rather, it’s a page set aside for a variety of opinions, expressed in columns like this one, in editorials like the one below, and in the editorial cartoons we choose to run.

But it’s the letters that really spice up this page, offering a range of opinions from the well thought out to the downright offensive.

The RDR has its regular letter writers, while others become impassioned by [auth] something in the news and write only on occasion, maybe even once in a lifetime. Here is where our readers express themselves. Welcome to our community forum.

Still, as a newspaper editor from way back, I think I speak with some authority on the matter when I say: When it comes to letter writing, Roswell could do better. I ran the Las Vegas (N.M.) Optic for eight years, and we got more letters than this — in a much smaller town.

So come on, Roswell! Send me your diatribes, tell us what you think. We ask that you keep your letters under 400 words — fewer words are better; shorter letters get a better read — and express your opinion. But please, for the sake of decency (and PC), be respectful of others.

And of course we’ll publish your name. This is not some anonymous chat room; you’ve got to have the courage of your convictions here. That’s what makes a letter to the editor worth reading.
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Then there’s our front page:

It’s the most action-packed page in the Roswell Daily Record. That’s where we report the news that matters to Roswell. We set our opinions aside to give both sides of an issue, using the best facts we can round up.

We try to reflect life in Roswell with photos and features that capture the day, and to fill you in on matters of public interest.

This is where our Editorial Department becomes a newsroom. The front page is just the beginning of pages upon pages of news and information, sports and entertainment, which we gather and share with you, our readers.

We have a strong team of reporters, editors and page builders who work every day to gather and report on happenings in and around Roswell. It’s a combination of things you need to know and what you want to know. And it all starts on Page One.

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Of course, I read the letters. I get the phone calls. I know that with the newspaper’s recent turn to the left, some of you feel you’re losing your beloved conservative newspaper.

I get it. I guess I’d be disappointed too, if my hometown paper were making a right turn after years of progressive leanings.

But I wouldn’t be all that upset, because such a shift doesn’t change this newspaper as much as you might think it does.

The content of our front page, for example, is being put together by reporters and editors whose political views range from one end of the political spectrum to the other. You’d be surprised by some of the viewpoints expressed around our newsroom, but we’re professionals and we know how to set aside our personal feelings to report the news, fairly and accurately.

Those are our standards, and we work to meet them every day.

As for the opinion side of this newspaper, you can call us liberal if you’d like, but independence is really what we’re after. That means more balance, which also comes with being fair and accurate in our coverage of this community.

The front page is for straight reporting; we seek to inform. But on this page, we express our opinions.
And we allow others to do the same. Even you, if you decide to write.
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Tom McDonald is editor of the Roswell Daily Record. He may be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 302, or tmcdonald@rdrnews.com.

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