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RTDNA Executive Emphasizes Importance of Editorials

Is ‘community journalism’ suffering as a result of a possible decline in editorials?

Of note on the Radio Television Digital News website, Executive Director Mike Cavender’s op-ed, “An Old Friend has a New Name,” published May 14, argues that the lack of strong editorials in modern broadcasting has diminished an important piece of good community journalism.

Years ago, Cavender explains, he himself was in charge of writing editorials for a CBS station in Tampa/St. Petersburg: “Local schools and education were a big focus for us and I think our twice-weekly editorial statements were quite effective in calling attention to issues.”

Lamenting a decline in editorials in television over the years, Cavender points to the currently operating Association of Opinion Journalists, which was formerly known as the National Broadcast Editorial Association and is part of the National Conference of Editorial Writers.

“Like many associations, AOJ is seeking its footing and place in today’s journalism environment,” he writes. “AOJ has broadened its base; welcoming members not only from traditional media, like newspapers, radio and TV — but also encouraging participants from online organizations.And in today’s media landscape, the latter may be able to help revive this flagging art.”