The late, former New York City Mayor Ed Koch was known for frequently asking, “How am I doing?” He did well enough, obviously, to earn a second term as mayor, but lost his bid for a third term to David Dinkin, who only lasted one term before being unseated by Rudy Giuliani.
With that in mind, I hope to last a whole lot longer as the managing editor of the Laramie, Boomerang, so, “How am I doing?”
But before you answer, here’s what I heard from several upon my arrival. Their main complaint was what they perceived to be a “slant” on the news, exclusively a “left-learning” one, and they naturally were not at all pleased. This was verified by several sources. They were upset enough that they were giving serious consideration to not renewing their subscription.
I don’t blame them. I would be upset also if time and again I opened up the Boomerang and saw daily articles that favored one side of the political spectrum while degrading the other side. To me, that’s not journalism, that is what borders upon propaganda.
Regardless whatever my political beliefs are, as your newspaper editor, it is imperative upon me to make sure you get coverage that is balanced, and that is what I told the people who contacted me with their concerns.
It’s what I have always done as both a reporter and an editor. To my credit, as a result I have been called a communist by those on the right, and a hate-filled right-winger from those on the left. I am okay with that; actually, I relish being called those, and worse. Reminds me of the Paul Simon song, “Trying to keep the customer satisfied,” in particular the lyrics: “I’ve been slandered, libeled/I hear words I never heard in the Bible…”
But I digress (and by the way, that’s a frequent phrase I employ, but, again, I digress). To those with whom I spoke, and to all readers, I said that little by little, things are going to change, and I also told them (as I am telling you), “You darn well better hold my feet to the fire”on that. If you believe I am not fulfilling my word, let me have it, and don’t be gentle about it, either. After all, I’m a big boy now. I’ve got my long pants on.
Now, there are ideas I want to introduce (or perhaps in some instances it might be more precise to state, reintroduce) to the Boomerang, pending approval. We are a community newspaper, plain and simple. For a period of time the Boomerang was operating with a skeletal staff. We are making progress remedying that, with the hiring of one reporter, and on the verge of hiring a second.
With that, I plan on expanding coverage. However, I will refrain at this time stating what those improvements will be, rather than get hopes high before rolling out these proposed areas of coverage.
Now I will state this and that is, we are not going to shy away from investigative journalism, but it’s not going to be what I term “advocacy journalism.” It’s not going to be in the mold of “Gotcha, you rascal, you!”
Finally, and most important of all, as I earlier wrote, the Laramie Boomerang is a — no, make that THE — community newspaper. Now that we are in the process of rebuilding the staff, there are going to be more articles written by us, thus less reliance upon our sister Wyoming publications.
So stick it out with us. Yes, there are going to be bumps along the road on this ride, yet with patience and perseverance, you’re going to see a much improved Laramie Boomerang. It’s what you and our city deserve. After all, there’s a reason we’re known as the Gem City.
Oh, and by the way, “How am I doing?”