Sunday, February 05, 2006


The Springfield News-Leader announced its new editorial board this week. While the 12 members compose a diverse mix of career, background, gender and race, they do not necessarily have such a mix in politics.

From their info-blurbs, the Mailbox counts one Republican, one Libertarian, four liberals or Democrats, four independents/moderates (one of which says leans to the left, one of which leans to the right) and two who didn't say, but their quotes indicate one of each. That leaves one (maybe three) conservatives on the board. Compared to four (maybe six) liberals.

The right could argue, "Where's the balance?" And they would be right.

The board won't write editorials, however. Plus, they will have only a six-month term in which they will give only input on the op/ed pages. So, their actual impact on the paper's opinionating may be minimal. (Translated: The N-L will still tick off the same approximate number on both sides of the political scale.)

But a newspaper's job is to approach issues with balance. This board is ill-equipped to do that.

Granted, it may not be the News-Leader's fault completely: People must apply to be part of the board. Maybe there was a lack of conservatives showing interest, which indicates how conservatives may have given up on the ol' Leader.

I'd be interested to find out if there was a lacking of qualified conservatives applying for the position.
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