[Vision2020] Daily News Looking for Columnists

Saundra Lund sslund at adelphia.net
Sat Sep 2 09:58:45 PDT 2006

Please help spread the word to community folks who might be interested:

COMMENTARY: It's time to jump on the soap box 

By Steve McClure 
Published: 09-02-2006

Opinions are like excuses and other metaphorical objects: everyone has one
and there is a pretty good chance someone will not think too highly of it. 

But opinions are an important part of the community conversation, and those
people willing to share their perspective publicly play a critical role in
how debates play out. It happens in newspapers across the country on the
Op/Ed pages, through letters to the editor and commentaries. 

It's not an easy task, and we find ourselves at the Daily News in the unique
position where we need to find two people who want to jump into the fray on
a regular basis. 

A pair of our longtime community columnists have opted to pursue other
interests and won't be submitting their bi-weekly columns. That leaves two
slots open in our regular lineup of contributors. 

These positions are different than the Town Crier feature, which rotates
weekly among 13 different writers. These columnists will appear every other
week on the Opinion page and receive a small stipend for their work. 

We're looking for columnists who have an opinion on local, regional and
national issues and can present their thoughts in a way that contributes to
the local discussion. The columnists who left approached their subjects from
different political perspectives, and we expect that the two people we bring
into the mix will do the same thing. You also need to be able to adhere to a
fairly strict set of deadlines. 

But the deadlines are usually the easy part when it comes to columns. 

It's not always easy to throw your opinion in front of readers. You need
good writing skills and a thick skin. Since it's an opinion piece - that's
why we'll put it on the Opinion page - we expect our columnists will have a
take on issues of importance to people. As I said before, there's a good
chance some people might not agree with you. 

A key component to a healthy community, though, is a healthy debate and
dialogue. It would be unrealistic, and a bit boring, to expect everyone to
share the same perspective. 

The Daily News has had a host of community columnists over the years. It
fits with our approach that local voices on the Opinion page add more to the
local dialogue than a syndicated columnist from some far-off locale who has
never heard of the Palouse. 

So if you're one of those people who has been waiting for the opportunity to
find a soapbox, crack your knuckles and hunker down in front of the
computer. The information you'll need to apply for one of the positions is
included below. 

The deadline for applications is 5 p.m. Sept. 29. 

To apply for one of the columnist positions, submit a cover letter that
outlines your interest and perspective and three sample columns of
approximately 700 words. Editor and Publisher Nathan Alford and I will
review the submissions and make a selection. 

You can send your material to: 
Steve McClure; Moscow-Pullman Daily News; PO Box 8187; Moscow, ID 83834 

You could also drop off your application packets at the Daily News offices
in Pullman, 255 East Main, Suite 104 of the Town Centre Building, or Moscow
at 409 S. Jackson. 

Steve McClure is managing editor of the Daily News. He can be contacted at
(208) 882-5561, ext. 209, or by e-mail at smcclure at dnews.com. 

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