Since “the group” took charge, there has been an obvious turn to trivialization. I realize filler material is free and really easy, but to find the entire third page taken up that way in this issue was disconcerting. And turning the circuit court report into a folksy-style narrative diminishes the crimes and sentences involved. What happened in the county? … The city? … There were no reports about the Sheriff’s Office or police activity. I saw a horribly mangled, small pickup at Neill Road last week just after the wreck happened and was looking forward to learning who was involved, extent of or escape of injuries, etc., but there was no mention of it, or of any other community news of that sort, from any of the communities you serve.
The thing that has made this paper my favorite read of the week is that it has informed me of the jumble of celebrations, events and activities going on close to my house, as well as the area nearby. That is what I am interested in. I need to know if criminal activity is happening close to me and like to read about the happy things that keep life balanced. I have minimal interest in the generic posts of a medical association or the Missouri Department of Conservation, and seldom read them.
I also have minimal interest in Mr. Johnson’s obsession with Western movies and Mrs. Beamer’s safe place. I realize they were both written to be fun reads, but if all the editorial page is going to contain from now on is personal rumination, I am going to be so unhappy. Mr. Campbell’s editorials were often personal, but they were always editorials, showing actual thought about the world and our times. He had the nerve to write his opinion. He actually had opinions. That is what an editorial is. The thought involved is what makes it interesting, and worth reading, agree with it or not. An editorial page without at least one statement of opinion is like being served tepid water. You don’t want to drink it, and after a while, you stop even picking up the glass.
And, finally, I’m sure that lots of color is seen as a big deal, but it is way more effective in a newspaper when used as a highlight, so if you are spending extra money to do it, you might reconsider.
Thanks for the invitation to “comment.”