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Editorial: Why we promise to speak out

Posted: 6:00 AM, Jan 11, 2018
Updated: 2018-01-11 11:00:13Z

Day to day, the news can be confusing, messy, almost overwhelming. Sometimes, it can be hard to make sense of.

That’s one reason why, two years ago, we created an editorial board and began publishing opinion pieces on community issues that reflect the position of WCPO as a news organization. Our goal is to help our audience and the broader community make sense of the news, lead the public conversation and find solutions to the problems that perplex us.

We do this as independent, nonpartisan, professional journalists.

You can scroll to the bottom to see who’s on the WCPO editorial board.

Our business is local news. We have a team of reporters, editors and producers who deliver local news over 43 hours of television every week, a website that is updated all day long and social media feeds that literally can reach hundreds of thousands.

With our voice comes an obligation to speak out for our community, to focus on our thorniest problems and to advocate for solutions. 

We believe we owe our audience sense-making and perspective. That’s what our editorials are all about, and that’s what we’ll keep doing this year.

What will we pay attention to?

Our community, like our nation, faces big problems. A drug epidemic, too many kids and parents stuck in poverty, racial animosity, a lack of upward mobility. 

Our region will have debates over how best to use our limited resources in ways that will benefit the region. A new stadium? A better bus system? New roads? More cops?

Those are the kinds of problems we take on with the aim of guiding the community toward answers. It’s part of our mission, which is straightforward:

WCPO takes the extra steps to be an advocate for the community and each other.

Last year, as part of that mission, we continued a long-term project advocating for a more robust response to the heroin epidemic.

  READ: Heroin: How Do We Respond?

We launched an effort to shine light on neglected neighborhoods in Cincinnati and beyond and speak up for their needs.

READ: Our Forgotten Neighborhoods

We continued our commitment to spotlight the high poverty rate here and to call out what works in reducing that.

  READ: Below the Line: Examining Childhood Poverty 

These deep-seated problems aren’t solved quickly, and we’ll keep following them in 2018.

But the year ahead will bring new demands.

Our core city, Cincinnati, has a new council, with three new faces. We’ll watch how these leaders approach the city’s challenges – including a budget deficit, a shortage of affordable housing, lifting up all the city’s neighborhoods – and we’ll try to cut through the messy debates to seek answers.

This is an election year for all the U.S. House members, the Ohio governorship and one Senate seat from Ohio. We don’t plan to make endorsements in these races, but we will call out political nonsense when we see it and cut through grandstanding and half-truths that only confuse the issues.

We’ll uphold our community’s standards for civility.

We are independent. We don’t view issues as Republicans or Democrats, from the left or the right. We take a common-sense approach, weighing each issue on its own.

We’ll speak for regular people, those who go to work every day, who are raising families in a fast-moving world. We speak for the vulnerable, those who have no voice or connection to power, single parents, the poor, the addicted, minorities.

In the tradition of our parent company, Cincinnati-based E.W. Scripps Co. , we will fight for access to public records, speak out against restrictions on freedom of the media and freedom of speech, and practice and defend fact-based, credible journalism. We don’t do “fake news.”

But it’s not just about our opinions. We want to know what you, our audience, is thinking, and give you ways to share your thoughts. Last year, we started features called What You Said and Feedback Friday as vehicles for your opinions. We’ll keep doing those. We regularly publish columns from community contributor s. We’ll keep doing that.

You can contact our opinion editor, David Holthaus, at david.holthaus@wcpo.com, with an idea for an editorial or a column. You can share your opinions on our Facebook page and our Twitter feed.
We want to hear from you. With you, we can lead the public conversation and work for a better, more just community.

The WCPO Editorial Board is made up of key managers at WCPO, as well as representatives from the community. Here are the members:

David Holthaus, WCPO.com Managing Editor for Opinion and Engagement

Jeff Brogan, WCPO-TV Vice President and General Manager

Mike Canan, WCPO.com Editor in Chief

Chip Mahaney, WCPO-TV News Director

Mona Morrow, WCPO Director of Community Relations

Kim Atkins, Manager, Procter & Gamble

Gino McGowens, Senior Director, Member Relations, African American Chamber of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky

Kevin Wright, Executive Director, Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation