Green River Star -

Our View: Why we use 'we' editorials

 


We’ve received some criticism of late for our opinions in this very space, every week.

While we expect some of our readers to disagree with us in our thinking, we were surprised to discover that some of our readers don’t believe we should have an opinion, or at the very least, show it.

And so we will attempt here and now, to justify that very thing.

Newspapers, large and small traditionally offer their own opinion and it is usually upon reflection of the hottest stories on the front page of the paper.

These editorials are commonly divided into two species: the “I” and the “we.”

You have noticed, no doubt, that we prefer the “we” voice and here’s why:

An editorial, at its very best, gives the staff at a newspaper the opportunity to distill our greatest hopes and challenges into a few words in an attempt to show its community the common ground and thereby spotlight a possible solution to a shared problem.

We hope to write these, not just in the voice of one or two staff members, but in the voice of the community and with the weight of nearly 125 years of tradition of being a leader of this community.

Many newspapers, including this one, offer the opinions of one person, either in Letters to the Editor or personal columns from regular contributors to this newspaper.

We love that our readers take the time to write down their thoughts and allow us to share them with our readers, which number in the thousands.

But we want our Editorials to carry more weight than any one person can offer and even though they are generally written by one person, several sets of eyes see them before going to print and are thus are influenced by more than one person.

Even more to the point, when it comes to contentious issues we talk to stake-holders on opposite sides of the issue and those on the fence and then we attempt to re-create those disparate voices into a workable discussion.

What we want is progress. Some times we take the side of the conservatives in that we don’t want an issue moving backwards. Other times we take the side of the liberals in that we want to be open to the possibility that a solution that we haven’t tried may work.

Sometimes we sit on the fence, not because we don’t want to ruffle feathers (quite the contrary) but rather, we sit on the fence because we don’t believe the best solution is clear, at least not to us.

We believe that leadership is not so much about standing on a soapbox and saying, “I have a great idea, come and follow me!”

Leadership is about listening to peoples’ concerns and then showing them, no matter the differences they have with others, that we share a common goal and that if we work together for that common goal, we can all benefit.

 

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