HomeOpinionOPINION: Responding to an unhappy reader about opinion content

OPINION: Responding to an unhappy reader about opinion content

I got an e-mail over the weekend from a concerned (probably more frustrated than concerned) reader, and she’s not the only one to ask me a question like this.

So I thought I’d answer it in this forum in case there are more readers asking this question.

But this reader apparently leans left politically.

She’s noticed – as a lot of our left-leaning readers have – that the majority of our content on our opinion/editorial page tends to lean right.

Englewood Pastor Adam Dooley and Todd Brady are our two most consistent guest columnists, and they are unapologetically right-leaning in line with their Orthodox Christian beliefs that are evident based on their columns in this paper.

Then last week, the local Republican Party chairman Brad Greer submitted a column, and this caused the reader to send the e-mail simply stating that the appearance is there’s an obvious leaning to the right of the op/ed page and I need to “do better” in getting opinions from the left.

As soon as I saw the e-mail, which was a couple hours after it made it into my in-box, I sent her a short response saying I’ve tried and will continue to try.

So let me try again, and let me get probably more candid than I should with you, our readers as I repeat a few statements I made in November of 2022 when The Post was first starting up and I was putting together the first edition’s opinion page content.

Here’s what a perfect opinion page looks like to me: There are three columns. One column comes from one side of an issue, and another column comes from the other side of the issue. Of course, that is assuming the issue at hand has only two sides. And most issues – local and otherwise – somehow manage to get caught up in our country’s two-party system with Republicans overwhelmingly favoring one perspective with Democrats favoring the other side. Then the third column comes from me that tries to give some kind of different perspective that’s neither blue nor red, but purple, unless my view of an issue just seems to fall in line with one side or the other for some reason.

One example of that would be last week when I’d stayed neutral on the charter school issue in Jackson-Madison County Schools, which as a whole I am neutral, but it was necessary for me to take a stand against American Classical Education and their failure to be honest on a consistent basis with the people of Jackson and Madison County.

We’ve had one perfect opinion page in The Post’s history, and that came after Mayor Scott Conger announced his reasons and plans when buying Service Merchandise. We had one column who thought it was a great idea what he wanted to do, a column questioning if it was a good idea and my column saying something like “it’s a risk, but something needs to be done and this option is better than the nothing that’s happened the last 20 years.”

So whether you are Republican/conservative or Democrat/liberal or somewhere in the middle with me, I welcome your critique of any part of The Post as long as you don’t get unnecessarily personal/nasty about it and you show that you actually do read it. But I also want this opinion page to be fair.

Local prominent Democrats like Larry Greer and Liz Mayo have sent columns to me in recent months, and we ran them. And I got e-mails the following week asking me not to run content like that as if 95 percent of the columns that run here aren’t right-leaning to begin with.

So as long as you’re not promoting racism or violence or something that I have a hard time publishing in our opinion page, your column will probably run. Just try to write at least 300 words but try to wrap it up before you get to 800 words.

Either way, thanks for reading, and to the one who e-mailed me last week, it is my intention every week to do better. Hopefully you’ll see that in the near future.

Brandon Shields is the managing editor of The Jackson Post. Contact him at brandon@jacksonpost.news. Follow him on Twitter @JSEditorBrandon or Instagram @Editorbrandon. The Jackson Post’s opinion/editorial page is meant to help launch public discussion of local issues or allow local people to discuss national or statewide issues. Publication of a column is not an endorsement of that column by The Post, its owners or any of its advertisers or employees. To join the discussion, send a guest column or letter to the editor to brandon@jacksonpost.news. Submissions for a specific week’s print edition need to be sent by Monday night. Sending does not guarantee publication that week as that is based on space availability.

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Recent Comments