News editor removed from board

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News editor removed from board

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We’ve decided to make a change. Last Friday’s paper marked the last day in which the news editor will be a member of this paper’s editorial board. After much thought and deliberation, we have decided to better serve our readership by freeing the news editor of his obligations to the opinions section of this paper. 

Our editorial policy is printed above this article, as it has been for every recent issue of this publication and states: “The editorial views of the Western Courier shall be confined to this editorial and are to be separate from news coverage unless otherwise noted. ” 

That fact remains true, as it always has. The news coverage in this paper continues to be unaffected by the editorial content of this page. 

What is an editorial board? 

For those unfamiliar with newspaper organizational structures, the editorial board is the select group of editors who contribute to the content of the unsigned editorials and decides which letters to the editor to print. 

Each paper handles the structure of its editorial boards differently. For instance, the New York Times‘s describes its editorial board as follows: “The editorial board is composed of 16 journalists with wide-ranging areas of expertise. Their primary responsibility is to write The Times’s editorials, which represent the voice of the board, its editor and the publisher. The board is part of the Times’s editorial department, which is operated separately from the Times newsroom…” The WC runs differently. 

How does it work? 

In reality, the subject of the unsigned editorial is pitched in a small, very informal meeting consisting of Editor in Chief Bill Welt, Managing Editor Alyse Thompson and Opinions Editor Bethany Bekas-Yarker, and previously attended by News Editor T.J. Fowler. After the topic is chosen, the topic is thoroughly researched, debated and eventually written, often collaboratively. 

Unlike the Times, the WC is simply unable to have a slew of experts from different backgrounds and areas of expertise. 

The news editor is hired based on his or her ability to interpret current events and research the news of the day. The WC may not be blessed with a panel of well-read experts, but we have a long history of diverse, well-educated news editors, and it is for this reason exactly that the news editor has previously played a role on the WC’s editorial board. Why the change? 

This change is a big one. The news editor has been a member of the editorial board since at least 1992, but even back in 1971, the “political editor” was a member of the editorial board although they had a much different staff structure than the one we currently follow. So, why change now? 

This change is more symbolic than fundamental. The WC under this group of editors has always attempted to provide students with relevant news that pertains to their lives. This shift simply demonstrates our continued efforts to report impartial news. 

Why you should care. 

This decision was made with one person in mind: you, our reader. In a world where journalists are criticized and real, “fair and balanced news” becomes harder to find, we want to make one thing clear to our readership: the news we provide is researched and delivered in the most unbiased way possible. 

—WC Editorial Board 

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