What makes a board?
The Craig Daily Press's process for putting together an editorial - an opinion put forth as the official stance of the newspaper - is one of collaboration.
Many newspapers' editorials are created and crafted by newspaper staff, normally limited to the higher ups, such as editors or publishers.
At the Daily Press, editorial board members include the editor, publisher, one other newspaper person and three to four community members (though, at one time, there was a board with two community members).
Community members have terms lasting three months. The term consists of a once-a-week, hour-long meeting to discuss the upcoming Wednesday and Saturday editorials.
Term limits are meant to encourage new thoughts and fresh ideas for the editorial page, as well as to give more people a voice in the process.
Board members vote on the upcoming editorials, and majority rules. The newspaper staff research and write the vast majority of editorials. However, this term was the first time in recent memory that a community member pushed the buttons on a keyboard and crafted the editorial. The majority of the time, the rough draft of the editorial is sent to all board members before publishing.
To learn more about the newspapers' editorials or the Editorial Board, contact editor Jerry Raehal at (970) 875-1795 or firstname.lastname@example.org
What is the point of an Editorial Board?
For that matter, why does a newspaper feel obligated to run editorials in the first place?
These were just some of the questions Editorial Board members raised and discussed at Monday's meeting.
Their answer: Editorials, otherwise known as opinion pieces put forth as the paper's stance on issues, are meant to spark discussion.
Case and point: The Puck Ewes.
Although some may feel the recent editorial on the women's hockey team's name was a waste of newsprint, for others, it created a diatribe of debate, going beyond just the Puck Ewes' name and into how we as a community view and use language.
But editorials do more than just encourage debate, one editorial board member pointed out. There are times when an editorial makes a statement others in the community might be afraid to voice.
There are plenty of cases in the past year when various Editorial Boards have taken on government policies and government officials - rightfully or not - or how residents act. These opinions are not held in isolation.
There have been plenty of times board members have heard, "Thank you. I've been wanting someone to say that."
Editorials also can push change.
Board members throughout the past year have pointed out how an editorial has elicited a response and action.
There can be danger in this, and we have to weigh our words carefully.
And, ultimately, the Craig Daily Press editorial process is a majority-rule opinion.
The publisher of the paper has been outvoted on a couple occasions and, yet, the editorial still ran.
In fact, some newspaper staff including the editor of this paper, who is writing this current editorial, strongly voiced their opinions against writing this editorial because it seems very self-serving for a newspaper to write an editorial about why editorials are good (just one of the reasons listed - for a full list of objections on the issue, just ask).
But, the editorial board voted in favor of writing an editorial on editorials, and well, that, as they say, is that.
Do people always agree with the paper's editorials? No. And we hear about it.
But going back to the first reason listed, that is exactly what editorials are meant to do. Create discussion, challenge people to think about the world around them in a different way and not just to question the editorial's stance, but also question what is being questioned.
Editorials are meant to encourage people to think.
That could mean throwing the paper down in disgust and brooding about how editorial board members are idiots, or it may mean picking up the phone and calling a politician to ask him or her why he or she acted in some manner.
In this case, the question is the answer.