Everybody’s got an opinion.
When news is reported, whether in the Monitor or elsewhere, it will usually provoke the reader to lean on one side of the issue or the other. That’s the way of the world; you read something and make a connection, then decide which way that connection leads you.
Polly is here to give you the facts as best she can; you get to decide the rest.
The Monitor has an opinion page where our readers can spout off on the subjects of our stories. Our website offers the opportunity to comment, as well. Very seldom do we turn down a letter to the editor or a comment on the website. In fact, when we see a lot of letters and comments come in, we do a little happy dance.
On the opinion page, you’ll see Polly’s editorials, but you won’t find her writing with an opinion regarding the hot-topic stories in the paper. She doesn’t feel that it would be ethical or conducive to getting both sides of any future story on the subject, and she’s right.
A gentleman who I respect and whose visits to the office I enjoy came into the office recently, slightly disgruntled that Polly, in discussing an issue, did not side with him. This is not the first time I have heard commentary such as this, and it makes me quite proud of our editor and chief reporter.
I promise that Polly, after reporting the news in this valley for dang-near a decade, as well as being a connection-making human being, has an opinion on just about everything about which she writes. That people do not know what her opinions are is the sign of an excellent journalist.
Not all media outlets work with that type of integrity. One organization that advertises itself as a local news source recently made public an inference that, because the Monitor does not raise verbal arms against a person who many consider a foe of a local town in the valley, we are a sympathizer. It’s not our business to sympathize or not; that’s what makes us a good newspaper.
A couple of months after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, Polly wrote a story on the Monroe Gun Show (Business Booming at Monroe Gun Show, Feb. 19, 2013).
Only because I asked her permission, I can tell you that Polly is no fan of guns, an opinion solidified by the fairly recent, senseless shooting murder of a friend. She doesn’t like the leadership of the NRA, considering them arrogant and insensitive.
Still, she went to the Monroe Gun Show because it’s a big semi-annual event and she understands that, out here in the Sky Valley, there are many, many gun enthusiasts. For them, the show’s return was news. She talked to the enthusiasts and vendors at the show and she learned about gun show safety measures.
And when she was done and the story was written and published, she was contacted by one of the organizers of the gun show, thanking her for a well-written story.
That’s how it’s supposed to go.
The Monroe Monitor is not one big opinion page. It is not our reporters’ jobs to tip you in one direction or the other. And I feel pretty comfortable that we don’t.
Under Polly’s watch, we never will. Be glad for it.
Kathie Savelesky is the office manager at the Monroe Monitor & Valley News.