Before we launched the Greenwich Sentinel, almost eight years ago, we had long discussions about what type of newspaper we were going to be. We wanted to be a community paper that reported honestly on what was happening in town. We wanted to help bring our town closer together. We wanted to celebrate the accomplishments of our neighbors, help those that needed a hand up and embrace those that were suffering. Joseph Pulitzer, the famed newspaper publisher from the late 1800’s said: “A cynical, mercenary, demagogic press will in time produce a people as base as itself.”
We spent a lot of time then, and over the course of the last eight years, discerning what our editorial page should look like. The editorial page of local newspapers play a vital role in fostering conversations about important issues affecting our communities. These pages provide a platform for citizens to express their views, exchange ideas, and engage in meaningful discourse about the challenges facing our towns and cities. They can be letters-to-the-editor, opinion pieces, columns, cartoons and more.
As the great American author Mark Twain once said, “The man who does not read a newspaper every week is not informed. And if he is not informed, he will be a victim of every charlatan and trickster that comes along.” This sentiment holds true today as much as it did during Twain’s time. Local newspapers serve as a trusted source of information and a valuable resource for citizens to stay informed about the issues that impact their daily lives.
The editorial page of a local newspaper is particularly important because it provides a space for community members to engage in civil discourse about issues that matter to them. As former United States Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan Jr. noted, “debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open.” This quote highlights the importance of having a forum for public discussion where all voices can be heard.
Furthermore, the editorial page of a local newspaper can be a catalyst for positive change in a community. As the influential civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” The editorial page provides a platform for citizens to speak up about the issues that matter most to them, and to hold their elected officials accountable for their actions.
The editorial page of local newspapers is a crucial element of any community. It allows citizens to engage in meaningful conversations about the issues affecting their towns and cities and provides a platform for the exchange of ideas and perspectives. As the great poet Maya Angelou once said, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” The editorial page ensures that the stories and voices of our communities are not left untold, but instead are heard and considered in the ongoing conversation about our shared future.
The Greenwich Sentinel welcomes your letters-to-the-editor, columns, cartoons, etc. We are strong advocates of civil discourse; however, we ask that they not contain personal attacks. Submissions should be signed with a phone number so that we can confirm their authenticity.
We have long enjoyed Frank Visco’s “rules” on writing and wanted to share them here.
HOW TO WRITE GOOD
1. Avoid alliteration. Always.
2. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.
3. Avoid clichés like the plague. They’re old hat.
4. Comparisons are as bad as clichés.
5. Be more or less specific.
6. Writers should never generalize.
Seven: Be consistent!
8. Don’t be redundant; don’t use more words than necessary; it’s highly superfluous.
9. Who needs rhetorical questions?
10. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.