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On Our Own Into 2016

Garage Sign
Garage Sign

“Publishers are not accountable to the laws of heaven and earth in any country and regardless of my opinion, editors and publishers will print what they will.”

I wrote this in a letter to the editor of the Quad City Times in 1980 reacting to a popular feature section called Soundoff.

“(It is) little more than a vanity press for many of the writers,” I wrote. “It gets pictures, letters and opinions into print as a final goal; shouldn’t there be more to public voicing of opinion than that?”

This is more applicable today than it was three and a half decades ago.

What I learned in graduate school is the same statement can be applied to almost everything written in public. Reflecting on the Times experiment to make their pages more open to comments and retain readership, chaos reigned. What has changed since then is the emphasis on viewpoint in media — corporate, social or self published — which has been formalized. It’s not all good.

As I turn to the hard yet fun work of writing this year, I plan to journal my experiences in the food system here. Four years from full retirement, there are bills to pay and a life to live. I may pick other topics from time to time. I need to make the best use of every moment.

I’m writing off line as much as I can. While I don’t like to work for free as long as there is less cash than budget, I may occasionally post about those creative endeavors.

Thanks for reading this blog. Check out the tag cloud for your interests. I hope readers will be back often.