Sunday sampler

First, the usual Sampler fare, and then a note about an odd editor’s note in Fayetteville.

Several updates a year after Hurricane Florence wrecked parts of the N.C. coast. The Star-News in Wilmington has a good one on lessons learned, beginning with the absence of a government building that can withstand Category 5 winds. The Carteret County News-Times updates us on the recovery on the coast farther north. (People are finally getting back  into their homes.) And the Fayetteville Observer updates readers on its area after Florence.

High Point: The Guilford County commissioners are talking about banning smoking in county parks, a far cry from 20 years ago when that would have never made it into writing. I doubt it goes anywhere, but who knows?

Charlotte: The Observer has a strong N&O story about the shenanigans of the GOP in the state House in overriding the governor’s veto. The most interesting thing, to me, is that it shows how Guilford’s legislator, Jon Hardister, has developed. Eight or nine years ago, he campaigned as a bipartisan, reasonable Republican. As majority whip, he’s become a brazen partisan.

Now, the odd editor’s note:

Fayetteville: The Observer has an interesting editor’s note on its front page that I’d like to know more about. The paper says it published an editorial cartoon Saturday that was in poor taste. Then the editor throws under the bus some “group” that may-or-may-not be related to the paper?

“The group responsible for pulling some of the content for our opinion and editorial page should have flagged this particular cartoon and brought it to our attention. Questions should have been raised about it before it made it to print.” The editor promises to follow up.

I always took the position that the editor was responsible for everything in the paper, except, when I was editor, the editorial pages. We had a separate editorial page editor, to keep news and opinion responsibilities independent of each other. So, in Fayetteville, is the editor throwing the paper’s editorial staff under the bus? Or possibly, because Fayetteville is owned by Gatehouse Media, are the Observer’s opinion sections created off-site by a Gatehouse staff? And it’s their fault?

I’m trying to imagine Fayetteville readers will make of this. Perhaps someone on the staff can help me?

UPDATE: A possible explanation from this story in Eugene (Wash.) Weekly in January. Tip of the hat to Andria Krewson.

In September 2018, EW reported about speculation that the “Our View” editorials the Guard was running — seemingly without an editorial staff — were being outsourced to Portland-based company Opinion in a Pinch, a service that, according to its website, can “help you produce the right editorial, column, white paper or press release to achieve your goals” if you tell them the “topic, your opinion and how many words.”


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