Can’t win for losing

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 9, 2005

There are days when I love my job. Friday was not among them.

The phone started ringing shortly after I came in and by 11 a.m. I felt like punching bag.

Several folks apparently didn’t think much of the editorial in that morning’s paper. It said, basically, that people got the budget and tax rate that they voted for. That if they wanted a lower tax burden, they needed to elect council members went a different set of avowed priorities than the ones they have because the priorities of the present council cost a lot of money and they do not include returning any money to the taxpayers.

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It also praised those who voted for the budget for standing behind their avowed priorities (without necessarily stating those priorities were good or bad) in the face of some vehement support for real tax relief.

Sometimes writing editorials is a struggle. Some News-Herald columnists are often, if not always, critical of what comes out of city hall. As such, I often get beat up for the newspaper being too critical of city government (Even though those columnists represent their own opinions and not the newspaper’s.)

It’s kind of like my dad. He was a coal miner in his youth and active in union organizing in West Virginia. That was in the late 1940s and 50s and he would often get beat up – literally, by coal company thugs. In the 1970s he had worked his way up to management, by which time the tables had turned, and he would often get beat up by union thugs.

Sometimes you just can’t win.

Admittedly, there have been times after a few of the negativism complaints, that I’ve overcompensated by praising things that perhaps weren’t all that deserving of praise.

I’m not afraid to make people angry. That’s what a newspaper’s editorial page is for, to bring people’s passions to the surface. I do worry, however, about people’s perception of the newspaper. I don’t want us to be seen as wantonly anti-city or &uot;in the city manager’s pocket,&uot; as one of the callers on Friday suggested, because we are neither.

What we strive for is balance (perhaps it’s the Libra in me) and much of the time I think we achieve it. For those who think we don’t this page is always open to letters and we are constantly looking for local columnists to write regularly.

I’m always interested in what readers have to say about the newspaper, good or bad. Please feel free to call me with praise or complaints. Just don’t beat me up.

Andy Prutsok is editor and publisher of the News-Herald. He can be reached at 934-9611 or via email at