The Free Press, Mankato, MN

December 29, 2012

Our View: This paper’s resolutions for 2013

The Free Press

— News media are often maligned for what their critics say is pushing an agenda — whether a liberal agenda (as with mainstream media) or conservative agenda (as in the case of Fox News).  We embrace the notion of accepting the fact that we have an agenda and believe that with transparency of that agenda you can understand our motivations.

News media have never been merely “mirrors” reflecting the news of the day. We are chroniclers, diarists, analyzers and sometimes interpreters of events that have become complex or hidden because of the din of irrelevant noise.

Professionally, we strive to be fair, recognizing that we have filters but working to overcome those filters. Internally, this newspaper is motivated by what it feels is important and needed in our communities. You, as a discerning consumer of news, should recognize that filter and challenge our work when you feel we are overstepping our bounds.

We are upfront with our bias recognizing we do not have a “political” bias other than expecting our politicians and the parties from which they come to be honest in their dealings. You may not agree with our bias, our agenda, but at least you will know our motivations. To that end, we submit our news “agenda” for 2013, which really isn’t that much different from what it has been of late.

Our “resolutions” for the coming year are to continue being aggressive in holding our public officials accountable, regardless of political affiliation. We will shine the light on areas in our communities that we — and you — feel deserve attention.

We will more closely monitor the state Legislature and executive branch now that one party holds the balance of power.

We will become more engaged with our readers and our communities to help us better understand the personal effects our fast-paced environment can have on individuals, family and time-honored traditions.

We recognize our communities and the people who make up our communities are diverse. Their backgrounds color how they perceive what is happening around them and we will continue to be sensitive to those differences.

As a news organization, we also will not be generic in our coverage in the way we deliver the news to you, but rather work toward a method best tailored to your individual consumption and usage.

On our opinion page, we will continue to offer differing points of view rather than be a mouthpiece for one particular ideology. We feel no one has the right answer but by listening to different viewpoints we can collectively arrive at one — at least for that moment.

Our editorials will continue to applaud collaboration and civility in tackling the needs of our community and in solving problems.

We recognize our unique role in our communities — to provide you with credible information to help guide your lives, your decisions. That credibility is extremely important to us so while we work to not only be informative and entertaining, we will not be entertainment.

Our core value is news coverage that is fair, accurate and complete. We want the agenda we set to serve as a benchmark for your daily discussions rather than a checklist on how you should think.

To that end, we welcome and encourage your feedback — especially the feedback from our members — subscribers and advertisers — who through their investment allows us to continue investing in coverage that is important to you.