Changes are the one certainty in journalism. How we gather and disseminate the news today is a far cry from how it was done 50 or even five years ago.
Our readers have more information at their disposal than ever before and the Brainerd Dispatch is instituting a few changes on this page in order to help them make sense of it all.
Brained Dispatch editorials are now signed by their authors. This promotes accountability and allows readers to understand whose perspective an issue is being addressed by in the editorial. The majority of editorials will be written by Keith Hansen, the Dispatch’s vice president of audience development, and Mike O’Rourke, associate editor. These editorials reflect the opinions of the authors. As usual, the publisher has veto power on any editorial.
There will be occasions when an editorial reflects the consensus of the Brainerd Dispatch’s editorial board. In those cases the editorial will be labeled “Our opinion” and signed “Editorial board.”
We’ve made a few other changes as well. In addition to Hansen and O’Rourke, members of the editorial board are Tim Bogenschutz, publisher; Terry McCollough, former publisher; and Jackie Burkey, community representative.
The political season is well under way and the Dispatch will no longer require that endorsement letters be limited to 50 words. The 300-word limit will apply to all letters now.
The remaining standard requirements for letters will continue to be enforced. Writers are limited to one letter per week. The writer’s name and city must be provided. Letters containing personal attacks will not be considered. The Dispatch will not print letters from writers airing a personal complaint with a private enterprise. Letters that are considered libelous will not be published.
We welcome your letters. The Dispatch’s aim is to encourage a lively and robust debate on public issues. There’s no reason such a debate can’t be done with civility and respect for everyone’s viewpoint.
— Editorial board