EDITORIAL: A new on-line feature
Our website - MyClintonNews.com - is heavy on the left. No, not the political left. The left side of the navigation bar has Home, Breaking News and Sports - three core functions of any newspaper worth anything.
Home is the articles in feature display. Breaking News keeps up with the greater Laurens County area between our issues. Sports, of course, is self-explanatory. Elsewhere, we have photo galleries and videos, and the extremely valuable support of our advertisers. We have some information about us, and a means for you to send us information. What we’re looking at today is the right side of that navigation bar. No, not the conservative side - the Opinion side.
Blogs at the far right is a repository for columns of our award-winning journalist, retired publisher Larry Franklin. His last blog talked about wanting to be a consort for the Queen of England whenever she is traveling in this part of the world. Also included here are the regular writings of editor Vic MacDonald, a community journalist in South Carolina for 42 years. We don’t have any plans at present to bring in any more bloggers.
Our Opinion icon is to the right center of the navigation bar, and this is our focus in today’s editorial. We can see how many “hits” each entry receives, and we can tell that Opinion lags behind Sports and Breaking News in reader interest (sometimes, our editorial about Gregg Nibert was a notable exception, likely because it was copied to and distributed by Facebook), and that’s something we would like to remedy.
Lately, if you go to Opinion on our website, you will have seen a couple entries marked State Government. We are going to use this on-line area to disseminate some information that we receive from state agencies and office-holders. A lot of these news releases are tinged with opinion anyway, so it’s a logical choice. We don’t want a ton of categories on our site (some sites use Business, Education, Environment etc.) because we feel that’s too divisive. We would rather stick with our core - what’s happening, what’s to do for recreation, what’s to think about.
To this end, Mr. Franklin before he retired assembled and nurtured an impressive cast of community opinion contributors. They talk about their fields of interest, and their viewpoints. Sometimes, their viewpoints disagree, without being disagreeable.
They are: Russ Dean, Rhett Wilson, David O’Shields, Steven Evans, Bob McLean, Dale Satterfield, Bobby Meadors, Tommy Kitchens and Bob Bryant. In the newspaper, some of these contributors are on the editorial page and what is known in the trade as the op-ed, some are in the B section. We have had guest commentary and letters to run on A section pages on occasion. As any good newspaper does, we want a clear distinction between what is news and what is opinion.
Opinion is really, really important. It’s a distinctive style of writing, sometime intentionally provocative. It’s fact-based but persuasive - a “look at this issue through my eyes” style of writing.
As with anything in The Clinton Chronicle, if you are seeing us only on-line, you are missing a good bit that is in our newspaper.
Conversely, waiting for the newspaper to come in the mail is not your most immediate source of information. You can find Clinton on your laptop and your mobile device, and you can rest in your favorite easy chair, feel the paper between your fingers, and find even more.
We encourage all our loyal readers and the new audiences were strive to reach to experience both. On-line news without depth and context is too “on the surface.” Newspaper news without a quick turn-around can get old and stale. It’s a balance we seek to strike every day, and we enjoy the challenge.
So, go to our website and explore, and don’t be put off by Opinion. It can be a whole new world, expandable to some of the issues confronting our state. We invite you to join the conversation - just remember, always sign your name.