By Cali Bagby
Journal general editor
On Oct. 26, the Journal endorsed Bill Watson and Rick Hughes for San Juan County Council.
After the paper was published several readers were concerned that the endorsement meant we would change the nature of content in our publication overall. We have also been asked in the past why the Journal endorses political candidates. The endorsements can be found in the editorial section of the Journal, on page 6 and 7, where we publish letters, guest columns, a weekly editorial and a cartoon.
This section is clearly marked as the opinion section. When we endorse candidates we are stating our opinion on who we believe will best serve the community and why. We also offer criticism of candidates. We offer this endorsement as a way to encourage others to take a stand and have an opinion and hopefully vote for that candidate in the coming election. It is in no way a reflection of how the rest of the paper is prepared for publication.
According to the New York Times, an editorial writer has the luxury of spending his and her days exploring issues and talking to candidates thus making them one of the best informed member of our community.
The reporter and editor at a paper are also trained to be trusted sources that look at all sides of an issue before making a call. Some papers have stopped endorsing because they fear the backlash of subscribers and advertising who may not share the same opinion.
We do not think that fear of losing money should sway what is published.
For those of you wishing to cancel your subscriptions, I urge you to look through the papers printed after the endorsements. You will find fair, accurate and balanced reporting from staff-generated content on page one to letters and columns inside the paper.
We have not edited or tampered with any letters in order to sway opinions. If anything you should be buying subscriptions for your friends and family in the hopes that you can continue to thrive in a democracy, and the only way a and the only way a democracy works is for its citizens be informed