What do a young real estate entrepreneur, a public health professional, a rural conservative father, rancher and businessman, an energy industry advocate, a journalism and multimedia studies professor, a tribal radio station manager, a 40-year Colorado resident and a recent transplant have in common?
They all serve as charter members of The Durango Herald’s Editorial Advisory Board.
The group of eight met for the first time last week to discuss the proposed Durango Fire Protection District mill levy increase and to provide input to the editorial board from beyond the walls of our office.
It is our job, now and in the future, to ensure our new members contribute to the viewpoints reflected in our editorial pages.
The editorial board’s commitment to this new endeavor precedes the paper’s participation in the Poynter Institute’s Local News Innovation Program, but dovetails perfectly with its goal of increasing engagement with our diverse La Plata County community.
The goals of instituting an advisory board are several:
To ensure the opinion pages reflect the breadth and depth of issues of interest and concern to our community;To bring new ideas and provide meaningful input into discussion on a range of issues;To discuss and inform positions the editorial board may take; and To foster a climate in which debate about local issues, respect for diverse opinions and constructive dialogue can occur.At a time when trust in traditional institutions is at an all-time low, efforts to bring people of diverse backgrounds together are more important than ever.
The public is demanding, and deserves, evidence of balance and transparency. We are looking to the advisory board to help deliver this, to break down walls between and among individuals and interest groups and to enhance understanding of our editorial process.
The group meets on the first and third Tuesdays of the month, and includes:
Colton Black: Banker and brokerage associate at Wells Fargo; Sheila Nanaeto: Station manager, KSUT Tribal Radio; Dan Korman: Broker/owner of Alpenglow Properties; Liane Jollon: Executive director of San Juan Basin Public Health;Joe Lewandowski: Public Information Officer, Southwest Region, Colorado Parks and Wildlife; Christi Zeller: Executive director of La Plata County Energy Council; Eben Harrell: Senior editor for Harvard Business Review; andFaron Scott: Professor of Journalism and Multimedia Studies at Fort Lewis College. Thanks to our new advisory board members for taking a chance at something new and spending their time with us. Please bring your questions and concerns to them. Our next meeting is Tuesday.