Bad Journalism + Biased Editor = The Gray News

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Why Ray Clark's editorials are a waste

Ray Clark’s Editorials are either ferociously angry or completely boring. The angry ones used to be directed against citizens who spoke up. The angry ones nowadays are directed councilors who speak up. The boring ones are when he talks about himself.

A newspaper’s pages are too precious to waste space with unproductive anger or boring, ego-driven drivel.

John McCormick, Deputy Editorial Page Editor of the Chicago Tribune says “editorials are meant to express a newspaper's convictions and to help readers synthesize the wealth of information and argument they encounter. Your ability to perform that task well," he says, "depends on your determination to never let your editorial page become the dull place some readers, and some journalists, feel that it is." Like the Gray News has become.

McCormick goes on to say, "It's the Wizard of Oz voice that we think we're supposed to mimic. It is stuffy, omnipotent, often pompous.” Ray Clark must be the Wizard of Oz. His editorials are stuffy, omnipotent, and pompous.

In this week’s editorial Mr. Clark expresses his thoughts about receiving an early Christmas catalog.

McCormick says that before editorial writers begin writing they should ask themselves some questions, one of them being: “What are we contributing to the debate? What's the added value here? Just our opinion? New facts? New arguments, contexts, or dimensions to consider? The best opinion is reported opinion. The power of your voice comes not from your job description, but from the strength of your facts and the reasoning that drives your arguments.”

Mr. Clark's musings about his spending habits at Christmas time adds nothing to a civic debate and really is not all that powerful.

Further, McCormick says, editors should “offer readers an organized debate that is rich with context and considers the likelihood that the reader needs to be brought up to speed on the issue.”

In his editorial, Mr. Clark wrote: “The seasons seem to be accelerating. You can’t buy anything for a season in the actual season any more.” I think we're all up to speed on this already. This editorial has no power in the voice. No strength of facts. No organized debate. In my humble opinion, it's just wasted space.


  • I had not thought of it as such, but
    the Gray News is either anger (at citizens ) or drivel.

    Thank you for the focus

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:23 PM  

  • Wait for the "back to school" editorial.... teachers don't get paid enough, and they are great and kids are great and despite the lack of money that they (us the taxpayers) provide they still manage to do a pretty great job. They are saints and we don't support them....

    and so on, he's getting old and not writing anything new, just rehashing.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:54 PM  

  • Ray Clark is a 'waste' because he LIES!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:54 AM  

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