The Oneonta Daily Star recently published the following letter that was submitted by Emily F. Popek, who was the former assistant editor of that newspaper.
“I was extremely disappointed, although not shocked, to read some of the comments on Facebook when The Daily Star posted its endorsement of Hillary Clinton for president.
“‘It’s not the media’s job to try and sway the public,’ one person wrote. ‘Why would you give your opinion? A true newspaper should remain neutral,” another person wrote. ‘Isn’t this completely wrong for a published newspaper to choose a side?,’ wrote a third.
“The ignorance on display in these sentiments saddens me deeply. Editorial opinions are part of the tradition of newspaper writing stretching back decades, and presidential endorsements in particular are part of that tradition. In the 2016 presidential race, hundreds of newspapers, including long-standing bastions of journalistic tradition such as the Boston Globe, New York Times, Chicago Sun-Times and Baltimore Sun, have written endorsements.
“A newspaper offering an endorsement is no different from any other editorial opinion offered by the paper. As a reader, I am perfectly capable of making the distinction between opinion and news, not the least because the section in which the content appears is clearly labeled as such. It is perfectly appropriate for The Daily Star or any other newspaper to participate in a long-standing tradition of publishing editorial opinions — including those endorsing candidates — and I for one hope this tradition continues.
“I find reading the opinions of others — especially those with whom I disagree — to be a worthwhile intellectual exercise. Further, it is one we must all be willing to embrace if we are to continue calling ourselves a democracy.”
Bravo for Emily! Her last paragraph is also one of my greatest concerns regarding the future of our nation.
I’ve strongly disagreed with the Star’s repeated endorsement of Congressman Chris Gibson, but instead of complaining about the editorial board’s prerogative to make those endorsements, I publicly let them know the reasons that I disagreed with their decision.
Those letters were published by the Star with Jim O’Leary Delhi, at the end of every one of them. In my opinion there is something cowardly about anonymous comments on line.