We Are Increasing Our Effort To Focus On News & Info, Not Opinions
Darren Doyle, Editor: (firstname.lastname@example.org)
This article could easily be viewed as an oxymoron because I'm writing an opinion piece on why opinions need to removed from news and journalism as a whole. With that being said, I understand that this is my opinion and that you have the right to disagree. More importantly, I also understand our 23K weekly readers don't read the VOICE to get our opinion, they just want information.
When I first started this business, I did in fact, write some opinion pieces. Most of them received a very positive response, but those who didn't agree with the pieces strongly disagreed, which turned them away. To those folks, it suddenly became, "All they ever write about is..." Even though we only wrote a hand full of those, it seemed that those in disagreement saw it as that's all we ever did, or that we had some sort of agenda. To those, we were no longer credible.
As our company grew and our reach became stronger, I slowly began shifting away from those types of pieces. I soon began to realize that no one neither cared about who was writing the articles nor what my name was (or any news owner/author/editor's name for that matter), and certainly not our opinion on what we were writing. People just want to know what is happening in Edmonson County, and in a timely manner.
On the national level, people either love or hate certain news outlets. Places like Fox, CNN, MSNBC, etc., no longer attempt to hide their opinions or agendas. It's more difficult now than ever to simply receive information and process it on our own because all of the major outlets have their own agendas as well as social and political platforms, with the hopes we'll see it the way they do.
That's not how the news is supposed to work. Just the facts, please. For the last couple of years, we've made a conscious effort to keep our opinions out of the news. We're finding, receiving, and processing information and doing our best to simply deliver that information to you. We want you to make up your own mind after reading so you'll have your own reaction.
News Definition: Information about current events
Opinion Definition: A view or judgement formed about something: not necessarily based on facts or knowledge. (according to Webster's Dictionary)
I remember watching the news as a kid, and I watched it every night. Dan Rather, Ted Koppel, and Tom Brokaw just read their notes or their teleprompter. I had no idea what their political affiliations were, didn't know where they stood on issues, nor did I care. They just gave it to us straight (at least during the 80s and before). As social media began to grow and give ALL of us our own platforms that allowed us to share EVERYTHING, all the time, so many of us began to grow bolder with our own opinions. That climate led to journalists everywhere becoming bold with their opinions, too, which for me, has now greatly discredited much of the information they relay.
We are obviously very interested in how the public reacts to our content. We've yet to see where our readers want to be told how to do that or what to think. Our news is not about us at all, it's all about Edmonson County.
Our goal is this: we don't want you to know our opinions in our articles, and from our platform, we don't want you to know any of our staff's political affiliations. Not that we're ashamed of them, but because they don't have any place in the news.
Each day, we monitor the number of users our website receives and the number of pages and articles on which are clicked on the site. We can't guess at them, we can't fake them, and we don't have to wait to see them. Over the past month, we have averaged more than 1,000 new users each week. These numbers aren't mixed in with Facebook or other social media, but these are actual hard numbers where folks are clicking and reading our material.
These are the numbers our advertisers and sponsors ask to see. They are the ones that generate our revenue, revenue which is the sole reason we can offer our services to the public for free. These local sponsors have vested interests in our local community and where they invest their money is crucial to both their's and the local economy. We're still covering the same types of events, relaying the same type of info, and using the same sources that we've used since 2014, so why the increase in readers?
We have an opinion, but it doesn't matter. The fact is, The Edmonson Voice is a local news network and we will continue to do our best to gather relevant local information and do our best to relay it to you without the commentary and opinion.
Thanks for making us Edmonson County's number one source for local news and information by an overwhelming margin.