The Newnan Times-Herald

Opinion

Here’s why we report on liberals


  • By The Newnan Times-Herald
  • |
  • Feb. 12, 2017 - 1:18 AM

A number of comments in Sound Off have complained about liberal columnists or news stories about the activities of liberals in our community. They correctly note that the majority of residents are conservative.

So, why do we, a conservative newspaper, report on liberals’ activities in the news or publish their columns?

Because it is the mission of a newspaper to keep its readers informed. Conservatives are the main beneficiaries of news about the activities of liberals. After all, the liberal activists already know.

If we pretended that everyone in the community is a conservative and that there are no liberals at all, that would not only be inaccurate, but it would be punish conservatives who would find themselves surprised and outmaneuvered by their political opponents. As conservatives ourselves, that is not the outcome we want.

Instead, by striving to provide balanced and objective news coverage, we aim to equip readers of all philosophical orientations with the information they need and with a true picture of how diverse our community has become.

Naturally, it can be frustrating to read the statements of people we disagree with. It is much more satisfying to only read articles that affirm our own personal opinions. That’s human nature. But, is it wise to be deluded about the existence of contrary viewpoints?

So a story about John Lewis speaking nearby, local artists joining a protest in Atlanta or Coweta residents traveling to D.C. for a march is valuable intelligence for conservatives. It equips conservatives to counter the arguments and tactics of liberals, just as any smart football coach or military commander would study every available scrap of information about an adversary.

After all, it's not like liberals would disappear if the newspaper did not cover them. The liberals themselves don't need the newspaper to tell them what they are doing. And it’s not like conservatives could be brainwashed by reading something they disagree with. The only consequence of not reporting on liberals’ activities is that conservatives would be uninformed.

If you look at the unsigned editorials and the majority of columnists on the opinion page, you'll see how conservative the paper is. Only one liberal has been a regular columnist, selected by the previous publisher mainly because he provided some insights on state politics. The rest are very conservative, as are the majority of Sound Off comments published.

The paper hasn't shed its conservative orientation, just tried to give a truer picture of what is happening in this complex, growing community. It's the community that has changed, and it would be a disservice to our subscribers not to let them know.