You can help shape Olympian editorial policy

June 13, 2013 

If you want to help set the newspaper’s opinion page agenda over the next 12 months you have just one more day to apply.

We are taking self-nominations until 5 p.m. Friday, for an open seat on The Olympian’s editorial board.

The editorial board provides the official voice of the newspaper through daily editorials appearing in this space. It includes two community representatives who serve over-lapping terms, one beginning Jan. 1 and the other on July 1. All editorial board members have an equal say in shaping the newspaper’s official position on issues of the day, including candidate endorsements.

It is something of a rarity for daily newspapers in Washington to include representation from community members on their editorial boards. The Olympian began adding citizen voices to its board in 1992. Not long ago, we heard from past community representatives that they found the original six-month term too short, and we extended them to a full year.

Community representatives actively participate in weekly editorial board meetings at the newspaper offices.

They ask questions and then help shape opinions during ensuing discussions, which are often lively. Community representatives later comment on draft editorials before they are published. They also offer ideas for editorial topics of interest to the community and suggest individuals or groups to invite to editorial board meetings.

The next six months will be especially busy for the editorial board with a full slate of candidates for Thurston County auditor, city councils, school boards and fire commissions.

Anyone interested in serving as a community representative should send a self-nomination letter to The Olympian. Include information about your ethnic heritage, educational background, work experience and community involvement. Explain why you want to serve on the board and what you would bring to the board’s deliberations.

Send your self-nomination to to letters@theolympian.com. You can also send it via regular mail to Editorial Board, The Olympian, P.O. Box 407, Olympia, WA 98507, or fax it to 360-754-4221.

Remember the deadline is 5 p.m. Friday.

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