Newsroom staff opinions worthy of consideration

This week’s paper includes commentaries from two members of the newsroom.

  • Wednesday, November 27, 2019 10:08am
  • Opinion

In this edition of The Beachcomber, you’ll undoubtedly notice some things you don’t normally see.

For one, we published our Holiday Gift Guide, an annual special section containing articles from our hard-working staff meant to kick off the holiday season. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did putting it together.

But for the sake of this editorial, I’d like to turn your attention to the contents of these Opinion pages. They include commentaries from two members of the newsroom, Paul Rowley and Kate Dowling.

Paul has written a thoughtful piece on community journalism, which is an important topic to address not just during the holidays, but any day of the year. Meanwhile, Kate chose to write about the differences between Thanksgiving in America and Canada, owing to the fact that she is a native of our neighbors to the north. Pretty cool, eh?

It should also be noted that Liz Shepherd, The Beachcomber’s arts editor, wrote in first-person recently, too, when she penned a review of “She Kills Monsters” at Open Space for Arts & Community.

And, not surprisingly, every once in a while, this editor of The Beachcomber will attach his name to the left-hand rail of page 6 to speak in the first person, too.

As reporters, we’re all trained to keep our voices, including our opinions, out of our copy when we’re writing news stories. But who says we can’t offer a little observation here and there from our life experiences or the things we encounter in our community? That’s why, as editor, I welcome Kate and Paul’s commentaries.

The idea of writing commentaries while being a journalist is not new to me. As a staff writer at my last employer, The Herald Journal in Logan, Utah, the managing editor would have newsroom staff write columns he dubbed “Staffers’ Corner.” My boss was pretty firm, though, that the topics we chose to write about would not have to do with current affairs, particularly politics. I thought that was a pretty good rule of thumb, and I enjoyed writing these columns whenever I saw fit.

One of my favorite columns was published earlier this year in Utah when I wrote about a neurological condition — which I believe I have — in which people see colors and patterns in their minds as they listen to music. My final column in Utah was about my move to Vashon-Maury Island (I mistakenly referred to it as two islands, not one. Can you forgive me?).

As editor, I have not instituted a formal series of commentaries by the newsroom staff. I’d just say that they’re welcome to write one every so often if they choose. Quite honestly, I think our readers would get a little something out of it — for one thing, that there are actual faces behind the bylines you see weekly in the newspaper!

So keep watching these Opinion pages. In the meantime, have a happy Thanksgiving and get a stuffed start to your holiday season!

— Kevin Opsahl

More in Opinion

Hopefully, Tramp Harbor dock can open once again

Tramp Harbor dock was closed to the public on Monday on the orders of its insurance provider.

Think about significance of holiday red and green colors

We will all have to make sacrifices while expanding our efforts to make our lives greener.

Save the dock

The Tramp Harbor dock should not disappear because of our current challenges.

Government: tax the wealthy

The only power that has any chance of protecting us from the super-rich is the government.

Newsroom staff opinions worthy of consideration

This week’s paper includes commentaries from two members of the newsroom.

Best of both worlds

Celebrating American and Canadian Thanksgiving.

Believe in your local paper

It’s a troubling era for the free press everywhere, but it’s even harder for community news.

Toy Drive provides gifts to kids

Large donation boxes are spread around the community between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Making climate strife heard

Because of the climate crisis, I have found myself deeply questioning what else I needed to do.

Big decisions for islanders this election season

One thing could be said before the results came in: A lot is at stake for islanders.

Voice of Vashon informs and entertains

As a long-time member of the Voice of Vashon (VoV) family, I… Continue reading

Vote for park district levy

Hans Van Dusen, a commissioner of the Park District, outlines why residents should vote for levy