Today’s letter from Edward Packard, “Readers wonder about influence,” and another from Michael Black, “Did editorial constitute breach of ethics? (Herald, 12/18) got us thinking: it is time for an update about the Opinion page and the Editorial Advisory Board.
We established the advisory board to:
ensure the opinion pages reflect the breadth and depth of issues of interest and concern to our community;bring new ideas and provide meaningful input into discussion on a range of issues;discuss and inform positions the editorial board may take; foster a climate in which debate about local issues, respect for diverse opinions and constructive dialogue can occur.Advisers do not write on, review or discuss all topics we address, such as the editorial both letters question.
October and November meeting time was spent getting to know one another and conversing with community leaders such as Hal Doughty, Chief of the Durango Fire Protection District, about the proposed mill levy, and Ron LeBlanc, Durango City Manager, on the city’s 2018 proposed budget.
In December, the group began to grapple with community issues as diverse as the safety of the river trail, community affordability, alcohol and drug use and the water needs of the agricultural community.
On Tuesday, the group held a conference call with State Senator Don Coram and Rep. Barbara Mclachlan (both in Denver) to hear them talk about the legislative session that kicked off Wednesday. The board asked questions and offered many suggestions.
We are looking to the advisory board – a group of nine men and women, aged 36 – 63, from various lines of work, backgrounds, parts of the county and political persuasions – to break down walls between and among individuals and interest groups and to enhance community 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
Eben Harrell: Senior editor for the Harvard Business Review (who works remotely)
Liane Jollon: Executive director of San Juan Basin Public Health
Dan Korman: Broker/owner of Alpenglow Properties
Joe Lewandowski: Public information officer, Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Shirena Trujillo Long: Coordinator, El Centro de Muchos Colores Hispano Resource Center, Fort Lewis College
Sheila Nanaeto: Station manager, KSUT Tribal Radio
Faron Scott: Professor of Journalism and Multimedia Studies at Fort Lewis College
Christi Zeller: Executive director of La Plata County Energy Council
Next time you see one of our advisers, let them know what is on your mind so they can bring it to our next meeting. Though this group was formed to advise the Editorial Board and opinion page content, other aspects of The Herald operations – news, circulation, advertising - occasionally come up. Though not our domain, we always pass a question or concern on to the appropriate department.
In a Sept. 2016 editorial, former Editorial Page Editor Bill Roberts wrote, “As much as we enjoy the erudite work of syndicated columnists and the wit of political cartoonists, and for as much as we enjoy our own standing to comment on current affairs, the fact is that letters to the editor represent the heart and soul of the Opinion section.”
If you are not seeing your views reflected in the opinion pages, if there is a columnist you’d like us to run, to submit a column yourself, or to reach one of our advisers, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.