LDNís coverage of local controversies

By Jim Youngquist

[OCT. 11, 2000]  We were offered some sagely advice this week: "LDN needs to do more hard news and jump into the controversial fray." The source of this advice is a public figure in this community who is trusted and sought after. His identity shall remain anonymous.

There certainly have been a record number of controversies in Lincoln in the last six months:  the downtown renovation project, the Grapes and Grounds controversy, the Central School controversy, gas prices in Lincoln, and the zoning controversy on Woodlawn Road which has brought us those oddly colored buildings, to name a few. A person could comment in retrospect that life in Lincoln these last months has been a little more lively than usual!

 

In each of these aforementioned cases, LDN has run well-researched, well-founded stories that have presented both sides without leaning one way or the other and presented the news in an evenhanded, introspective fashion. We made a conscious effort to make sure it is news that we are presenting and not our own opinions, prejudices or inventions.

Each controversy already brings with it a host of people who have varying opinions on one side or the other that they are passionate about. We ran stories about their passion, their opinions and their plea. But we worked hard to merely present the news and not promote or take a side.

Even though we have worked hard to present the news in an evenhanded way, that doesnít mean that LDN hasnít take some lumps for some of these issues. We have been scolded for not taking a particular side. We have been accused of taking the wrong side. We have been chided because it was thought that we did something covert to support the other side. And we have even lost advertising revenue because we ran letters to the editor from readers who have taken a side and voiced their opinions. An outside observer might say that LDN just canít win!

 

 

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To date, Lincoln Daily News has published about 180 days of news. Our mission remains the same: to present the news of this community in an unprejudiced manner to the public to build and preserve community, rather than providing more fuel to tear it apart.

Although Lincoln is a nice place to live, from time to time change, challenge and even crime come to this little community, bringing with it conflict, controversy and sometimes even a little chaos. This is normal! When these kinds of events present themselves, LDN could editorialize our own sharp opinions on our own front page. LDN could take sides and rally people against each other. LDN could promote certain businesses over others in town. LDN could take the popular political side in the town or in the county and seek to derail the opponents. LDN could even invent news or sensationalize the news in order to promote readership.

 

But we decided at the very beginning that we would never violate our own principles and stoop that low. This community has adequate heart, mind and soul to work through change, conflict, controversy and even crime, and over time these things become resolved issues. We refuse to fan the flames of enmity, sally forth with sensationalized news, immaturely interject invention or cause conflict by callous commentary masquerading as responsible reporting.

At Lincoln Daily News, we feel that if we stick to the principle of fairness and good ethics in reporting, adequate research without sensationalizing, reporting news knowing that we are also part of the community, and just being good neighbors, we will all be winners.

[Jim Youngquist]


Our mission

The mission of Lincoln Daily News is to tell the stories of Logan County in a contemporaneous manner, with lively writing and a predilection for simple truth fairly told. Lincoln Daily News seeks a relationship with the good people of Logan County that is honest, neighborly and never patronizing. Lincoln Daily News presents news within a full context that contributes to understanding. Lincoln Daily News is more interested in the marketplace of ideas than the competition of personalities. Without shrinking from the bold delivery of unvarnished fact, Lincoln Daily News operates from the premise that God's creatures deserve the presumption of right motive. Lincoln Daily News eschews malice and cynicism; it approaches every person with dignity and every subject with equanimity. In short, Lincoln Daily News informs, stimulates and entertains.

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