Responsible Newspapers Foster Debate

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Lately, the Roundup has taken some heat for its expressed opinions on the issue of a police department audit and the Tyler Parkway speed limit brouhaha.

Some have responded to our opinions with comments that suggest a lack of understanding of the role of a responsible community newspaper. One upset caller even said, "I'm tired of reading your opinions on the editorial page."

In view of several comments like this, we thought it might be helpful to clarify our role.

Our first and most important responsibility to our readers is to keep you informed of the important events and happenings in our community -- both positive and negative.

A secondary function of a community newspaper is to serve as the conscience of a community and to provide reasoned opinions on events and issues that help further public discussion and debate. These opinions are limited to editorials on the editorial page and, unless labeled otherwise, represent the consensus of the editorial board.

While they are as reasoned and reasonable as we can make them, they will not please everybody. That's why a lot of space on the editorial page also is available for our readers to respond to our editorials, or to offer opinions on issues you deem important.

In a democratic society, a healthy exchange of ideas is a good thing.

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