North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

August 2, 2012

Our Views: Editorial cartoon an opinion, but not necessarily ours

North Jefferson News

AN NJN EDITORIAL — The editorial cartoon that ran on July 25 drew quite a bit of attention. A handful of North Jefferson News readers made it clear that not only did they not like it, they hated it.

And to that, we say thank you. One caller said that as a subscriber, she felt like she had a right to call and express her opinion. She said, “I feel like I have a voice.” And she is correct.

One purpose of an opinion/editorial page is to create dialogue. It is one of the few spots in a newspaper where it is OK for a writer (or in this case, a cartoonist) to express his or her opinion rather than work hard to remain objective. This includes the newspaper’s Our Views section, writers’ columns or readers’ letters to the editor.

We welcome hearing the viewpoints of our readers, and are more than pleased to print letters to the editor. Many people prefer to call and express their views verbally. While that is OK, it really does no one any good except for the caller, who probably hangs up feeling much better afterward. But to really get your point across, send us a letter for publication and share your thoughts with all of our readers. The guidelines for submitting letters to the editor are below.

The cartoons that The North Jefferson News prints come from an outside source — in this case, Mike Luckovich of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution — and are never intended as personal attacks against anyone. However, we do regret that local business owners were hurt by the content of last week’s cartoon. We assure them, and all readers, that it is never the intention of The North Jefferson News to injure anyone. For the perception that we were attacking good-hearted, dedicated and generous business owners in north Jefferson County, we do apologize.