Where do you head?
If you’re home, it’s a natural place to look — assuming someone has been to the grocery store recently.
How many times is the question, “What are we having for dinner?” followed by a second question, “What are you hungry for?” with yet a third question as a reply, “What do we have?”
Food for thought, absolutely.
But what if, instead, you are hungry for news? Or you have a thirst for information?
Let’s say you had heard that police were in your neighborhood and — with a natural curiosity and a concern for safety — you needed to know what was going on.
I know, your first instincts are to pack the kids into the car, buckle them up in their seat belts and head to the police station to see if there were any strange police reports in your neck of the woods.
Or, knowing that the local newspaper publishes a police log every day, you could just turn to that.
Need more time to ponder those options?
We received several letters this past week, one of which is published on this page today, suggesting that there is too much negative information in The Republic.
The argument is made that people don’t need to know about their neighbors’ business — a divorce, arrest, foreclosure.
First of all, I want to compliment this letter writer and all letter writers for speaking their minds and having the courage to sign their names to that. It is the opinion page, after all, and we welcome all types of commentary on matters that are important to writers and of interest to readers — our community.
And normally, it’s our practice to let letter writers have their say — about us or anything — without getting defensive about it.
But the question has been asked (“Is it truly necessary to know about ...?”), and I don’t think it’s meant just to be
Why can’t The Republic eliminate the “bad news” from its daily pages and instead just publish positive, uplifting news?
Keep in mind that we hear from “the other side” on such things, too. I had one inquiry this past week about what happened to a watchdog feature (“bad news” for some) that hadn’t been in the paper recently.
As someone who gets a lot of reader calls, questions and comments, I believe a majority of our readers want it all — the good and the bad, if it’s fair to break our content down to just two descriptions.
We work diligently to provide readers a window to their world. For example, last Tuesday we published the uplifting story of a quick-thinking Boy Scout who saved a choking father at Ethnic Expo.
Two days later, we published another front-page story about a father accused of tossing his crying infant daughter across the room, causing serious injury — and leading to the dad’s arrest.
Both stories generated strong emotions, understandably. As hard as the second story might have been to read, does anyone think we should not have published it?
A newspaper, like a refrigerator, is best when it’s stocked with a variety of choices — be it information, or food and beverages.
If the answer to the dinner question of “What do we have?” is just “jelly,” wouldn’t it be beneficial if there were also a little peanut butter in the cabinet in the event someone preferred to balance the taste and texture?
That way, the peanut-butter-only lovers still are satisfied.
The jelly-only people are content.
And hungry members of the household who want to spread jelly on one slice of bread and peanut butter on another have the best of both worlds when they can sandwich the two together.
Some of our readers just read the sports pages. Fine.
And if others just want to enjoy the comics, I don’t mind.
Certain people just want hard news, and that’s OK, too.
But our “fridge” is fully stocked. You get to decide what you’re hungry or thirsty for.
Tom Jekel is editor of The Republic. His column appears each Sunday. You may reach him by phone at 379-5665 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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