John Reed | Dialogue is always a good thing

John Reed | Dialogue is always a good thing

By JOHN REED

Editorial cartoons are a time-honored tradition in the newspaper business. The earliest of them appeared in print some 20 years before the Declaration of Independence was signed. They are typically focused on topics of political interest and always reflect the opinion of the cartoonist.

At The News-Gazette, we present them on the opinions page along with editorials, letters to the editor, and other commentary to clearly distinguish them from news content.

Their purpose today remains the same as it was at their inception two-and-a-half centuries ago — to provoke thought and encourage dialogue. As opinion pieces, they occasionally raise the ire of readers.

Tuesday's cartoon, entitled "Teen Angst in the Era of #MeToo," certainly did the latter. We've heard from a number of you who have expressed your displeasure with our decision to publish it.

We get it. And we're glad you're telling us about it.

Today — on this page — we're publishing the first batch of letters to the editor on the topic. You'll also find a letter from the syndicated cartoonist offering his thoughts both on the cartoon itself and some of the negative reactions it generated.

Clearly, there are some who are convinced that nefarious intent was afoot Monday when we assembled Tuesday's opinions page. I can personally assure you that nothing is further from the truth.

Our assistant news editor, as usual, perused the available cartoons and landed on one he felt was suitable.

Did we display an unintentional lack of sensitivity toward the topic of consent when we made that decision? Yes. Did we fail to recognize that there might be alternative interpretations? You bet.

We learned something this week, and it's sparked a fair bit of dialogue inside our little local media company. That's a good thing, since it will ultimately make us better.

Perhaps more importantly, it's generated a conversation in our community. That is, after all, one of the primary reasons that we all come to work every day.

To all of you who took the time to be part of that dialogue, I offer my gratitude.

John Reed is CEO of News-Gazette Media and publisher of The News-Gazette. His email address is jreed@news-gazette.com.

Sections (2):Columns, Opinion