I'm pleased to note that I'm joining the Palladium-Item's community editorial advisory board. This comes after a number of conversations with the paper's staff about the role of the editorial page and its advisory board in prompting and shaping community dialog; I'm excited that I will get to contribute to those efforts in this new way.
The board is a volunteer group of community members who meet regularly with the paper's editorial staff to discuss issues facing our area, and to help ensure that the viewpoints expressed by the paper are the result of careful consideration and broad consultation. In the end, it's the Palladium-Item staff (and not the advisory board members) who craft the resulting columns, but Dale McConnaughay and others responsible for that task rely on the input received (and strong disagreements aired) through the board's private conversations. They also regularly invite community leaders to meet with the board for updates and discussion about projects underway.
This is a bit of an odd pairing, to be sure. In the past I've not been shy in this space about pointing out some of the ways in which I think the paper could improve in its journalistic role in Richmond, and sometimes I've just plain disagreed with their editorial positions or the framing of their news stories. I'm sure that there will be editorials written while I'm a board member that don't represent my personal views.
But I've also found that the Palladium-Item and its staff have not only been willing to fully engage the constructive criticism it receives from me and others, they remain one of the most central spaces in our community for the exchange of information, ideas and conversation about the place we live. One of my personal goals is to help raise the quality of public discourse in Richmond, Indiana, and so I'm honored by this invitation and look forward to serving.