Editorial: Unsigned? It is the biggest signature

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 14, 2007

A reader left an anonymous message on an editor&8217;s voice mail Tuesday evening. She was upset about an editorial. Among her complaints, she said the &8220;article was unsigned.&8221;

We disagree.

The editorials that appear here under the heading of &8220;Our Comments&8221; do have a name to them. In fact, it is the biggest signature in the newspaper.

Email newsletter signup

It is in 96-point extended type on the front page, where it says &8220;Tribune.&8221; And it is in 36-point extended type in the upper left corner of this page, where is also says &8220;Tribune.&8221;

Editorials represent the institutional opinion of this newspaper. This tradition takes place in almost every newspaper in the United States and, for that matter, the world.

The editorial is the oldest part of newspapers, the part that existed when newspapers were merely pamphlets, written by journalists such as Ben Franklin and Thomas Paine. All the other aspects of newspapering &8212; news, comics, columns, crosswords, advertising &8212; came later.

At most modern newspapers, a board of editors shapes the editorials. That board is called the editorial board. The Tribune Editorial Board comprises Publisher Scott Schmeltzer, Managing Editor Tim Engstrom and Assistant Editor Geri McShane. The names are listed beneath the First Amendment on this page.

When our editorials are printed in other newspapers, they credit them with &8220;Albert Lea Tribune,&8221; just as we credit their newspapers when we publish their editorials. When candidates talk about political endorsements, they credit the newspapers, not somebody&8217;s name.

The Tribune is proud of its opinion page, which we call &8220;Hometown Forum.&8221; We welcome letters, opposing viewpoints and healthy dialogue. We believe sharing ideas and opinions is good for democracy. Our editorials are part of that. Agree or disagree with us, we welcome dialogue.

Moreover, we are glad we had this opportunity to give some insight on our editorials.