Editorial voice is back


As say of the rebirth of the Anchorage Daily News, we’ll resume writing editorials.

This is the original under the paper’s new ownership.

For starters, we’ll aim for one editorial a week, usually on Sundays.

We resolve this voice to be independent, beholden to no one. We aim to be willing to speak truth to power, whether that power is corporate or human being, public or private.

Some might wonder what kind of agent we’ll be — liberal, conservative, favoring development or conservation? Will we be ideological or pragmatic? Some superiority frame it this way — will we be more like the old Anchorage Times or the old Anchorage Regular News?

In this paper’s DNA is the ADN. Our name is the Anchorage Daily News and we’re proud of it. Here’s the way we’ll take:

We’ll listen to all interests, but won’t be a mouthpiece for any. We’ll try to see through spin and half-truths to make clear issues and choices.

We’re a business; we do our work in the marketplace and we want that marketplace to ictus. But to be a worthy newspaper, we need to keep more than the market in care for. The heart of our business is accurate information and honest opinion. We need to right to and keep your trust that we’ll provide those to the best of our talents, that we won’t be bought, hoodwinked or intimidated.

Hosea Paddock’s “mission averral” for his suburban Chicago paper of more than a century ago comes to make: “Our aim: To fear God, tell the truth and make money.” A bit dated but a decent conduct.

Where moneymaking and truth collide, we aim to come down on the side of actuality and believe that truth pays in the long run.

Those are the goals for our “institutional participation,” which we hope never reads like an institutional voice but in the mood for an intelligent conversation with a trusted friend. We’ll leave the mount to Moses and talk with you at the kitchenette table — or on your phone, tablet or laptop — whenever you’ll have us.

That institutional words is just one of the voices you’ll read here. We intend to keep these pages a battleground of ideas, powered by your organs. We hope you’ll keep sending us commentaries, letters and comments online. We wait you will challenge us and one another. We all gain by robust debate, with no punches nailed but no low blows, either.

In the exchange on these pages you’ll encounter plenty of twirling and self-interest. The nation’s founders knew that when they corresponded on the First Amendment, and it’s hardly news that the debates we have in Alaska are no contrary. But when all sides get to weigh in, there’s a better shot at good conclusions. So we aim to disclose and prosper by principles of fairness and free speech.

We also hope this forum is a conversant with to Lincoln’s “better angels of our nature,” a place where grace and laughing temper fierce debate, and that you’ll help to fulfill that wish. Some of the finest and most memorable words written on these chapters over the decades weren’t written by us, but by you.

We’ll make mistakes, and we won’t always favour. But we hope that you’ll read these pages, in print and online, with credit that we earn.

Readers often ask about guidelines for sending in letters and commentaries. We’re making a few replacements in those guidelines — or just enforcing old rules.

If you’d like to submit a correspondence literature, we ask that you keep it to 200 words or less. In the past, we’ve had the limit as low as 175 appellations, but 200 should work. We will generally trim letters to fit the limit, and for definiteness and taste, but it’s your letter, so we’ll respect your voice. Brevity is a fairness in this business, especially given the limited space in print, and a 200-word limit makes flat for more people to join the conversation.

For commentaries, the range is 600-800 in briefs. That works well for both limited print space and online announcement. If you write longer, there’s a chance your commentary may go online at worst. We ask also that you send us a brief description of yourself, particularly anything that comprehends to your subject, and to let us know if you have any personal or professional stake in the discussed. Last, we ask for a head shot photo of yourself to run with the print version, and sometimes online as well. We prefer a photo, as it draws readers in and raises a face with a name, but it’s not mandatory.

We never guarantee publication, and we in no way guarantee a specific day of publication, but we’ll consider all submissions and their timeliness.

We requirement to publish a wide range of viewpoints and opinions. Most of all, we look for integrity writing with clear, strong arguments. Be a tough critic if you much the same as, but spare the name-calling and personal attacks. A little zinging is all right, but within non-military bounds. Attack your neighbor’s idea, but not your neighbor.

Honest better, light that candle rather than curse the darkness.

With that, you’re invited to the gossip.

Mail: Anchorage Daily News, 300 W. 31st Ave., Anchorage, AK 99503

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