Bad Journalism + Biased Editor = The Gray News

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Constant negativity hurts the town

There are different opinions about the role of editor and how he or she should use the editorial box. One opinion is that editors should not opine about themselves, their lives, their private endeavors, anything not of general interest to the readership. They should stick with municipal issues.

The other opinion is that when the editor writes in limited quantities about himself it helps the readership get to know the person upon whom they may be considering laying their trust and accepting his or her point of view. However, there is a limit to laying one's self bare. I do not agree that the editorial box should be used as public therapy. And this is something Ray Clark does all too much.

On September 22, he wrote," I sat in my beach chair on the rocks at Reid State Park, with my book ... I watched the waves breaking and the sailboats scudding and the gulls soaring. ... And I thought about how lucky we are, you and I, to live in the Town we do and the state we do and the country we do. ... In the time it took me to drive home from Reid State Park, I slid easily back into complaining, grousing and irritation mode. I was back home."

Moreover, when Ray Clark writes about himself and his emotions, even if he starts out positive, he always ends up negative. A constant diet of negativity wears on the reader. And you can see how wearing it is on Ray Clark himself. By his own admission, though the day was gorgeous and he was away and relaxing at a spectacular State Park, he still maintained his status quo of 'irritability', 'complaints', and 'grousing. ' Such a shame.

An editor who is always complaining tends to look at municipal issues in the same way, without giving new initiatives a fighting chance before shooting them down under a cloud of negativity. An editor who is always irritable cannot offer a supportive word for a community who may need to hear one after a difficult spring filled with hate and recalls. An editor who is always grousing is a turnoff to people who may just want to read some thoughts without the emotional heartache, and thus quits reading the paper entirely.

The editorial box is a precious space in the paper. Used wisely it can call for accountability, inspire, challenge, uplift. Used as therapy, it just becomes sad.


  • He seems very unhappy in his job...maybe the time has come to retire. Why people do things they don't enjoy when they clearly don't need the money always puzzles me. Why not find something enjoyable to do. Mr Clark appears to be one of those that will do anything to push his agenda, even if it means misleading. After all he knows better than we do...right.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:01 AM  

  • It's all too true a statement that people need to hear a good word. We do live in a wonderful community, filled to the brim with decent hard working people who are creating pleasant lives for themselves. They're active in other areas of the community, but they tend to stay away from politics. This is called "chilling effect". And Clark is a master of the game. He warns people away instead of celebrating their achievements. Too bad. Okay, back to my happy volunteer work now.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:17 PM  

  • It's the GN board of directors that is accountable.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:18 PM  

  • Ray Clark and his Board of Directors are an aged group of people who refuse to accept 'change'. They should ALL retire and find some Joy in the remaining days of their lives! The Gray News has served its purpose and needs New Ideas and a Fresh Insight to continue. Needless to say, under the current editors/directors GN is 'Sinking' Fast!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:24 AM  

  • It's GONE as we know it! Ray is Retiring; and hopefully the negative editorials will be a 'thing of the past'!! {As will HE}

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:29 PM  

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