Sign of the times.When I agreed last fall to take on the editorship of The Masthead mast·head
1. Nautical The top of a mast.
2. The listing in a newspaper or periodical of information about its staff, operation, and circulation.
3. in 1998, I knew right away which subject to make the centerpiece of this first issue.
Last April, after more than a year of brain-wracking and soul-searching - and, for some of us, flip-flopping - the editorial board of my newspaper, The Columbian in Vancouver, Wash., decided to begin signing its editorials.
Although it doesn't seem so daring now, at the time the editorial staff felt as though it was venturing out onto a very long and lonely limb. Would we editorial writers become tentative, even timid timid,
adj in Chinese medicine, pertaining to inadequate energy needed to face and overcome obstacles. , when forced to affix affix v. 1) to attach something to real estate in a permanent way, including planting trees and shrubs, constructing a building, or adding to existing improvements. our names to our work? Would readers understand that we were speaking not as individuals but as representatives of the board? Would election endorsements carry less weight with a single writer's signature at the bottom?
And though we work for our readers, not for other journalists, we had to wonder: If signing editorials was such a good idea, why wasn't every newspaper opinion page in the country doing it?
I have been, at various times, stridently stri·dent
Loud, harsh, grating, or shrill; discordant. See Synonyms at loud, vociferous.
[Latin str skeptical and strongly supportive of the idea. When John Webster and Rebecca Nappi of The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Wash., touted the success of their signed editorials at a regional editorial writers' conference in early 1996, I was among those lobbing rhetorical rhe·tor·i·cal
1. Of or relating to rhetoric.
2. Characterized by overelaborate or bombastic rhetoric.
3. Used for persuasive effect: a speech punctuated by rhetorical pauses. tomatoes at the notion.
Just a few months later, I was the one who proposed that The Columbian adopt Spokane's model, right down to the wording of the byline that now appears on every editorial I write: "Michael Zuzel, for the editorial board."
What changed my mind was the continued proliferation proliferation /pro·lif·er·a·tion/ (pro-lif?er-a´shun) the reproduction or multiplication of similar forms, especially of cells.prolif´erativeprolif´erous
n. of alternative media - chiefly the Internet - and a growing realization that, in an age when everybody is a publisher, newspapers risk losing their position as both leaders and moderators of the public dialogue.
As Webster argues in this issue's symposium, we live in an age when institutions of all kinds - government, business, media - are widely distrusted. And rightly so, given all the rumor RUMOR. A general public report of certain things, without any certainty as to their truth.
2. In general, rumor cannot be received in evidence, but when the question is whether such rumor existed, and not its truth or falsehood, then evidence of it may be given. , hearsay hearsay: see evidence. , and nonsense that's available out there.
The first question that all responsible citizens should ask is, "What is the source of this information?" If we on the editorial page are not willing to give them an honest and complete answer, I'm afraid that they'll go elsewhere.
At least, that's my thinking most days. I'll admit, there's still part of me that agrees when Omaha's Frank Partsch argues that signed editorials are a small but significant step in the continued trivialization of newspapers. Every once in a while when I type that byline, I feel a twinge twinge
A sharp, sudden physical pain.
To cause to feel a sharp pain. in my traditionalist bone and wonder whether I didn't surrender too easily to the forces of darkness.
But then I'll get a couple of phone calls from readers or new sources, people who wouldn't have picked up the phone had they not seen my name and known whom to ask for, and I figure we're on the right track. Maybe.
I started writing editorials in 1990. But I didn't become a real editorial writer until 1992 - the year I joined NCEW NCEW National Conference of Editorial Writers , attended my first convention, and began discussing this craft in earnest with my colleagues from other newspapers.
As much as I learned from my mentors "My Mentor" is the second episode of the American situation comedy Scrubs. It originally aired as Episode 2 of Season 1 on October 4, 2001. Plot
Elliot gets on Carla's bad side after telling Dr. Kelso about one of Carla's mistakes. Elliot gets defensive with J.D. in college and in the places I've worked, I've learned much more from editorial writers in shops large and small from around the country. They've made me a better writer, a more skilled editor, a more thoughtful journalist. That's the spirit I hope all of us can bring to this publication over the next couple of years. Let your colleagues at other newspapers learn from your experiences - and your mistakes. Tell us what you've tried lately, and what you think about the things others are trying.
Call me with your ideas at 360/699-6006, or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Masthead, like every good editorial page, is a conversation. But only you can make it so.