Olympian’s goal is to give voters useful information

October 6, 2013 

Readers will have noticed that The Olympian has begun publishing endorsements in local political races. These endorsements are the result of interviews with the editorial board, which then discusses the merits of the candidates and decides whether to make an endorsement.

The editorial board is a five-member panel that includes publisher George Le Masurier; me, as senior editor; columnist and editorial page writer John Dodge; and two community members, who serve for a year. Reporters sometimes attend editorial board meetings for background information, but leave before discussions on editorial opinions begin.

Because these editorial opinions are published by The Olympian, some readers draw the conclusion that the newspaper in total supports certain candidates.

That’s not the case.

On the news side, where reporters are covering campaign issues and candidates, races are covered on their merits, which include factors such as how many candidates are vying for a position, whether there is a key controversial issue involved in a particular race, and how many people are affected by the outcome of the election.

As for me, I leave my editorial page opinions in the conference room. In the newsroom, decisions are made according to what readers need to know to make an informed decision.

Of course, it’s a balancing act. As in all of our coverage, decisions are made many times a day about what to cover, who is going to write or photograph it, and how we are going to use the information in print or online. Sometimes there are more events happening at a specific time than we have staff to cover, and we make a choice, striving to give everyone an equal opportunity.

But what drives our decisions remains the same: What do you need to know to make decisions about what’s important in your lives?

I hope you’ll find the election coverage in our news pages — and the endorsements on our editorial page — useful. Your votes for local elections are important.

Although the shenanigans in the other Washington are getting a lot of attention lately, our dedicated, locally elected officials make decisions every day that affect our homes, our schools, our jobs and our recreation. Thanks for reading.

Jerre Redecker is senior editor of The Olympian. Contact her at jredecker@ theolympian.com or 360-754-5422.

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