Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Brave newspaper editors, publishers deserve praise

For the record, I would like to say that the Times-News appears to embrace innovation more than halfway. For starters, they allow letters to the editor up to 300 words and then allow elaborations and comments in this modern discussion forum. I am thankful for this and hope more advertisers recognize this, by supporting their hardscrabble efforts.

Perhaps, it’s idealistic dreaming, but I like to believe that if investigative journalism reaches a high enough level, then advertiser support will automatically follow. In the hundred or so opinion pieces, I’ve contributed to Idaho newspapers over the last five years; the above letter is the one that has generated my longest discussion with an editor, which further testifies to the Times-News inner motivation.

I do have a short wish list for subjects; I would like to see Idaho watchdog journalists investigate in further depth:

For many Idaho school newspapers, our half-thought-out-wars appear to be a subject too hot to handle. I would like to more student journalism editors ask their fellow students what they think about our wars. For those students who are considering enlisting or have already signed up – what are your motivations? What do you expect to gain from serving your country? Have you discussed the likelihood of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder with your friends and family? Do our students think history textbooks should show that the Bush administration mislead our country in sending us to war?

Idaho Falls area newspapers, could best serve their community in the long term, by continuing to be vigilant watchdogs over the powerful nuclear industry.

As elusive as it may prove to be, I would also like to see some Idaho newspaper come along and conduct a more in-depth investigation on the hidden connection between Mad Cow disease and misdiagnosed Alzheimer’s. Of course, after seeing the powerful cattle industry lobbies almost crush Oprah, after she questioned their dubious practices, this would probably be too idealistic for any small-town Idaho newspaper.

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