It has come to my attention that a few misunderstandings exist with items that appear in your News-Argus. Specifically, I am talking about the differences between news and sports pages and the opinion page.
First, news pages are for just that, news. News is the objective reporting of facts and information sources present to reporters. Reporters have known some of the sources for years; others they met the same day they wrote the news story. In almost all cases, those sources will be named in a story, as will any document sources such as police department reports.
What you are not going to see much in a news story, if at all, is something to the effect of “said a person close to the situation who spoke only on the condition of anonymity.” We believe in openness at the News-Argus. We only speak to sources “off the record” to get information that is not reported until it is confirmed. Also, we do not use unnamed sources. We consistently seek to offer the truth and not protection. We will not reveal the identity of a source if the person asks not to be identified. But we will not publish what the source says unless someone who can be named corroborates the information.
Sports pages are a bit different. In sports, readers find a combination of objective reporting and opinion writing. Our sports editor, Aviel Smolka, does a great job of bringing balanced reporting of local sports to our readers. Anything but balanced reporting would be unacceptable when the newspaper is working to cover sports at nine high schools. Even though Goldsboro is the newspaper’s home high school, it is essential to sports readers all over Wayne County that all the schools be treated as fairly as possible. On the sports opinion side, suffice to say no shortage exists when it comes to the number of people willing to share what they think about sports. Such opinions are plentiful, and Aviel uses them when he has space available.
This brings me to the opinion page. For some reason, this one page seems to be the most misunderstood by the highest number of people. For starters, everything on the page, with possibly the exception of “Today in History,” is the opinion of the writer. And those opinions, such as with this column you are reading, include a photo and name of the author. I am Duke Conover, editor of the Goldsboro News-Argus, and I have written this column.
An item that has appeared regularly is “Our View,” which is an editorial and will be identified as such going forward. An editorial reflects the newspaper’s position and that of the people in charge, the publisher and editor. Many newspapers publish editorials without the writer’s name. Traditionally, not having a personality associated with the editorial allows for more discussion of the topic and not the writer. I hope that is the case of the News-Argus’ editorials that readers discuss and debate the subjects more than the author. For those who just are not happy unless they can assign blame to an opinion with which they disagree, I write all the editorials for the News-Argus, and as you can see at the end of this piece, my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Please write me if you would like to share your thoughts on anything that appears in the News-Argus.
Another feature on the opinion page is letters to the editor. We love when people share their opinions for us to publish on this page. Writing letters always is encouraged. If you would like to share your thoughts with News-Argus readers, the best way to do so is to email your letters to email@example.com. Keep the letters about 300 words, although some as long as 500 words may run, and do not be offensive, incendiary or untruthful in your comments. Only original letters written exclusively for the News-Argus will be published.
I hope this clears up some questions readers may have. If more come up, I can be reached 24/7. Feel free to drop me a line or call me anytime.