It often occurs to me that when I swipe an old advertising jingle for a title, I am also telling the world exactly how old I am. Ah well, that’s the least of my problems.
Getting down to the subject of sunless days and newspaper editorials, however, brings us once again to the Dark Heart of America, and the local newspaper which I buy several times a week while we are here – which isn’t for much longer.
As recently as last year, there were two newspapers in this small town, something the New York City of the Ozarks itself hasn’t had for quite some time. While I wasn’t terribly fond of either paper – they were both a little to bland for my taste – I was saddened somewhat to see that the owner of one paper had sold out to the other in our absence.
Yes, I know, folks don’t like to read much more than Facebook posts or email chain letters these days, but this is the middle of Oil Country, for crying out loud. Surely there must have been enough trade to support two newspapers in one town.
I have long held that having several papers in a community makes each one more aggressive, and when we you are left with just one, a certain complacency can settle in.
And speaking of complacency, where at least in the past the surviving newspaper would publish editorials, this new version only runs a sampling of editorials from around the state of Oklahoma.
I can’t understand that.
I always enjoyed writing editorials; show me an editor, current or former, who does not relish the opportunity to write about issues that are important to them and I’ll sow you someone who might be happier working in a grocery store.
That’s the part of the newspaper that belongs to the editor – or an editorial board – and folks read that part of the paper religiously, along with letters to the editor and local/national columnists.
One doesn’t have to agree with the editorial, and the editor may be speaking only for themselves, but simply having one in the newspaper provides a sort of anchor.
If you don’t have an editorial – or indeed, if you are like this newspaper and don’t even have an editorial page half of the time – you resemble nothing so much as a penny shopper, with some crime and sports news thrown in to fill the pages.
Quote of the Day
A lot of people mistake a short memory for a clear conscience. – Doug Larson