D. Jeffrey Sheldon: New editorial board leaning left?
February 6, 2018
I would imagine there will be quite a few responses to your Jan. 27 column with regard to the new Editorial Board. I will agree with at least some of what was written and that is, as you so stated, I do enjoy opening the newspaper each morning with a cup of coffee.
I would also agree, at least as to the idea, that a group of folks verses a single editor should provide more rounded and precise information to that coffee drinker. But the obvious key to being rounded and precise is the actual make up of the board.
In the article it states that the board is "composed of people from a wide spectrum of our county. Liberals, conservatives, libertarians, possibly contrarians." Looking at the supplied board bios, I can't agree with that statement and would assert that the board is strongly structured to a liberal bent, and here is why.
There are 19 members on the board, seven of which are employed by The Union newspaper which I would think would certainly have a controlling influence on those seven employee members, not to mention that most newspapers are almost always on the liberal side of the proverbial fence. It would also appear that about five of the members of the board are, or were, educators, who again, usually have a liberal mind as to their thinking. So that would account for 11 or 12 of the board members, well more than half. As to an outright admitted liberal or conservative, looks about even to me, three and three. But the bias is to be expected, a newspaper, or any entity, would usually stack the system, just because likes attract likes.
My meaning there, is that they have little or no real life experience at the level where most folks live, at the life level where the board will be concerned with and charged with proposing solutions.
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But, that's not really my beef. My concern is, with the exception of probably two members, Mr. Dobbins and Mr. Rogers and possibly a few more, it appears to me, from the supplied bios, that most of the members have lived above "the fray." My meaning there is that they have little or no real life experience at the level where most folks live, at the life level where the board will be concerned with and charged with proposing solutions. Most of the members are educators, media people and professionals, that is not to demean your board, but how can one render an opinion or make a statement without a basis and or experience at the level their thoughts might be affecting?
I'm not saying a board member needs to be homeless to render ideas as to the homeless problem, but someone who has been or is currently a police officer could surely have more relevant ideas as to the topic than a stock broker, for example. So what I would contend is that your board should have at least a partial make up from the ranks of police, firemen, tradesmen, nurses, truck drivers, the military, caregivers, and on, people living and working at the street level. People, as Teddy Roosevelt so described, "the man who is actually in the arena." That would make more sense to me and I think make the board more effective and more relevant.
I don't mean you should totally be rid of the educators and professionals, they are still needed and can add to the build, I just don't feel the, e.g., Ph.D. badging has any real meaning, expertise or relevance without substantial street level experience.
Just my thoughts. Semper Fi.
D. Jeffrey Sheldon lives in Grass Valley.
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