There comes a time in every editor’s life when we really mess up, and must apologize to readers. Thankfully, the level of checks and double-checks that most everything published goes through lessens the frequency of mistakes, but they happen nonetheless.
This particular error is such that I’m making the apology here, on the editorial page, specifically to reader Drew Bridges, and to all of you.
In October, Dr. Bridges wrote us here at the paper, in disagreement with material that was being published.
Initially, there was not room to run the letter, and then no one on the editorial level performed due-diligence to make sure the letter was moved forward to be published in a later week.
Of course, it looks terribly ugly, and self-serving, to not run a letter voicing displeasure with the newspaper. It naturally prompted Dr. Bridges to take to his personal website to voice his disagreement. We don’t blame him. After all, he did reach out to us first, and did not receive a satisfactory response, or, evidently, any response whatsoever.
While I was on an extended leave of absence at the time, I nevertheless take responsibility for this egregious lack of action. Every reader’s opinion is valuable, including those that run counter to ours. And for more than 60 years, we’ve been an award-winning community newspaper, committed to the things that matter to our readers. That requires embracing those who are happy with us, and even more so, those who are not.
So, while this is three months late in being published, we hope that by including it here, it receives the attention it should have received in October.
Dr. Bridges, we sincerely apologize for not ensuring this letter ran in a timely fashion. Your opinion matters — and regretfully, it did not receive the notice it was due.
Thank you for taking valuable time to share your thoughts with us. We have made significant changes to our paper due to your, and others’, feedback.
We know we can’t make everyone happy all the time, but we sure want to know what our readers like and don’t like. Even more, we want your respect for how we handle the times where our opinions don’t line up.
Here is your letter, Dr. Bridges, printed in full, without editing (except to remove your street address):
I have valued reading the local paper for the 36 years that I have lived in Wake Forest. Recently, however, I have noticed a distinct shift of the news coverage from a balanced journalistic viewpoint to a far right perspective. Most of this is seen in the articles reprinted from State News Today. These articles should be marked as “opinion” rather than “news.”
My politics are socially liberal and fiscally moderate, and I usually vote democratic, but I do respect and read diverse viewpoints, including the NY Times and Wall Street Journal so that I do not become narrow in my fund of knowledge.
I will continue to buy and support The Wake Weekly for its local coverage and excellent informative pieces, such as the one on feral cats, but now I read The Wake Weekly in part to keep up on what the far right is thinking.
—Drew Bridges, MD