The Herald-Journal is focusing its Sunday opinion page on local issues

The Herald-Journal’s opinion pages historically have been the place where our community has gathered, if metaphorically, to talk about issues important to them.

As the way we communicate has changed over the past 15 years, the role of the newspaper opinion page has changed.

More and more, people have taken to other avenues to voice their opinions. And national voices have begun to dominate our once-local pages.

None of that changes the fact that we are still uniquely positioned to encourage debate on local issues. We can do that by bringing knowledgeable news coverage and informed opinion to you, and then allowing you to debate issues in a civilized way on our news pages and our websites.

Moving forward, that will be our focus in Spartanburg and in our sister newsroom in Greenville.

We’ll focus on local opinion content one day per week. We’ll hone in on the topics that matter most to you in a way that is intensely Spartanburg.

We’ll deliver local experts’ opinions on issues that are important to our community.

We’ll give local readers the opportunity to weigh in on those issues.

That conversation can then help inform our news coverage. And that coverage can fuel further discussion.

All of this can help to move our community forward.

What that means is that moving forward, we will publish an opinion page only on Sunday.

Yes, that sounds like a reduction in coverage. But there won’t be a reduction in local opinion coverage. What will go away are the national columnists that are writing about national topics that will never be solved here in Spartanburg.

The result will be a more reasonable debate on issues that we can address in Spartanburg, and where we can compromise and build consensus by learning together and talking together.

Doing that requires your participation, and we look forward to that.

So, beginning Sunday, June 5, we will begin with a new focus: Topic-centered opinion pages where we invite columnists to weigh in on specific issues, and ask letter writers to share their views. Each week we’ll publish a list of the upcoming topics to encourage discussion.

If there’s not enough local discussion on the issues we select, we’ll choose from the best submissions we get on other topics. If those do not meet our standards, we’ll publish strong national columnists from USA TODAY.

Join us in this conversation. Help us to make our community a better place. engage

Here is a list of upcoming topics we’d like to focus on for our opinion pages:

June 5: June 14 primary elections. We welcome letters in support of local candidates. Letters must be received by Tuesday, May 31.

June 12: Food insecurity. In light of the new Southside grocery store that’s on its way, we want to talk about that and other solutions to feeding Spartanburg.

June 19: Juneteenth Day. Tell us why Juneteenth Day is important to you, what progress we have made in racial equality, and about people who are working hard to make more progress.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor on one of these topics, you can send it to [email protected] The maximum word count for letters is 300. If you are interested in writing an op-ed and have expertise on an issue important to our community, please contact us.

Steven Bruss is executive editor of The Greenville News. He is currently reading “The Lincoln Highway” by Amor Towles and “Every Good Endeavor” by Timothy Keller. His email address is [email protected]

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