I do not normally write articles for my papers, I leave that to the many wonderful editorial staff members that I am honored to work with.
I do, however, have a few hard and fast rules when it comes to these papers that I am responsible for. I feel that it is important to always get each side of the story no matter how many sides there are and do everything possible to be fair in our reporting. Of course, not everyone wants to give their side of a story but we need to reach out for it as best we can.
Another rule I stress is to never offer our opinions on any article unless it is an op-ed or comment article. My final rule is to never endorse a candidate for any position, because as a news reporting agency, our responsibility is to offer facts, evidence and agendas. This allows the reader to draw their own conclusion with the information provided, along with other information obtained through many other sources to determine whom you support.
I think we can all agree on one thing; this may possibly be one of the strangest years for the political arena in recent memory.
It does not matter what race, candidate or party you follow, in most cases this has just been a difficult year for politics. For instance, the presidential race this year is probably one of the worst I have ever seen, and it has divided our country more than ever.
The only advice I would like to pass on to the readers is, determine what is important to you, foreign policy, immigration, abortion, economic outlook, national debt, and on and on. Whatever it may be, determine which candidate meets your desires and your needs and vote for that candidate. Forget about Party, gender, religious beliefs etc. make a decision because of what is important to you not what we in the media want you to believe.
The second most important race facing this wonderful state of ours is the Governor’s race. We have two very capable men in that race, Jim Justice on the democratic side and Bill Cole on the republican side. As I said before you should pick the person that promises the platform that is most important to you.
Personally, I have met with and spoken in detail to both men. Typically, I would never say where my support lies but in this case, I will. Keep in mind; this is completely contrary to my general rules of endorsement. However, I feel that because of his love for the state and the people of West Virginia along with the fact that he simply wants to continue to be proud of our state, Jim Justice deserves my support.
I have heard all of the negatives and the issues surrounding both candidates, and I have heard all of the promises and ideas from both candidates and I feel that the best candidate at this time for our state is Jim Justice. That does not mean I have anything against Bill Cole it is simply that the criteria that is important to me, fits with the Justice platform.
Most importantly, I would like to again stress the importance of selecting a candidate that best applies to your personal viewpoints and beliefs. Do not allow yourself to fall into the trap of being manipulated by the agenda of others. Your opinion is important, your needs and desires are important, your thoughts are important – let those be the catalyst for your voting preference.
(Ed Martin is the publisher for the Williamson Daily News, Logan Banner, Coal Valley News, Gilbert Times and Pineville Independent Herald.)