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Empire Editorial: Have a voice, join the Empire Readers Council

Posted: October 17, 2013 - 11:03pm

Juneau is a community with issues all its own, and with residents just as unique. Whether it’s on the topic of “capital creep,” a road out of town or the reopening of the AJ Mine, we believe most people in this town have an opinion on the things that matter.

Today, we are inviting you, the reader, to get involved in what we are billing as “not your average editorial board.”

But let’s back up for a minute. What is a traditional editorial board? At a newspaper, this board typically consists of a managing editor, a columnist and often the publisher, as well as a handful of active and vocal community members. It’s with the guidance of this board that a paper writes its editorials.

The Empire wants to be different. We are creating an Empire Readers Council who, with the help of a moderator, will discuss local issues independently. They will write their own editorials from the perspective of a reader, not from the perspective of an editor immersed in the media business. The moderator will be present only to listen and steer the group, and will do that only when needed. There will be rules, but also flexibility.

For this council, we are looking for folks from all walks of life to meet at noon on a biweekly basis to formulate a message uniquely their own, to debate opinions without the influence of an editor or publisher and to pen opinion articles they think will be of great interest to the Juneau audience. Terms will last three months, but there will be opportunities to serve longer. Interested parties can expect weekly email communication and a hosted lunch once a month by the paper.

Why? Because we know the world of news is changing and because we feel this is the right move for a newspaper that must be connected to the local readers it serves. And, it’s OK to be different.

So, send us your resumés and we will select the top nine candidates we feel best represent a variety of demographics. You don’t need to be a great writer to be a part of the Empire Readers Council. If you can communicate clearly, share ideas and opinions respectfully, and are willing to engage with others to develop a reasonable and persuasive argument, we want to hear from you.

When it comes to addressing pertinent issues that impact our community, region and state, there’s no better place than the Empire’s editorial page. One of the most effective ways to capture the voice of a community is with the help of folks who know this town — its history, its direction — and who share a deep sense of connection to the topics that matter.

Resumés may be sent to Director of Audience Abby Lowell at abby.lowell@juneauempire.com. Please use “Empire Readers Council” in the subject line. For more information, please feel free to email or call directly at 523-2271.

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