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Wiederaenders: It takes work to ride down the middle

Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona’s 4th Congressional District updates an audience of the Kingman Republic Women as to happenings in Washington, D.C. (Travis Rains/Daily Miner)

Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona’s 4th Congressional District updates an audience of the Kingman Republic Women as to happenings in Washington, D.C. (Travis Rains/Daily Miner)

The Daily Courier over the decades has swung right, far right, middle, left, and middle again.

Politics of the day or year depend a lot upon who is — or who is not — in the White House (if you think the cartoons of President Trump are bad, you do not remember those of Obama).

The leaning of the state also is largely dependent on the majority in the Legislature and the party that holds the governor’s office. I remember someone asking me in 2005 why we put a large photo of then-Gov. Janet Napolitano on the front page; I replied, “She’s the governor and she came to Prescott. When we have a Republican in that office, we’ll do the same.” (And we have.)

Still, we have found that making decisions on coverage based on the middle is best. That means we like to cover both sides of a story; we print a politician’s good news and his or her bad news; and, if we do a story about one party’s visiting dignitary, we play the other party’s similar news the same way — even making sure both receive a similar number of words.

It takes work to ride down the middle of the road. It is also called balance.

Unfortunately, it can take a little time for the story that provides the other side’s balance to come to fruition.

For example, a reader or two wrote in Saturday asking why we had not published a story about U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar’s siblings endorsing his opponent. I checked and it did not move on the Associated Press until 12:35 p.m.; we posted it just after 1 p.m. on dCourier.com, noting that calls to his offices have not been returned.

Previously, we have published his good news — such as when he has spoken in the district recently, in Prescott and Kingman.

I think sometimes, if people’s politics are “left,” they see only the “right” that we do — and vice versa.

That is why we like to publish Rants & Raves, at least once a week.

The 40-word, anonymous laurels and darts provide an outlet for readers. Yes, we take extra care with some — that make assertions that cannot be verified, are mean-spirited or are not as local as we prefer.

However, the gems are the Raves that keep a positive lens on the world’s happenings. For example, this one came in Thursday, Sept. 20:

I’m raving about the wonderful, beautiful Prescott Pops Picks concert of Sept. 16. This orchestra just keeps getting better! Concert Master Bill Cummings and the entire orchestra did an outstanding performance of the difficult Fiddle Concerto, 3rd Movement by Mark O’Connor.

In a world where so many people are focused on what’s wrong with everything — government, businesses, candidates, corporations, trade wars — we appreciate the Courier readers who take the time to send us a local Rave.

Yes, we also publish plenty of Rants so readers can get something off their chest, but I love the Raves.

We encourage readers to continue sending to us their Rants & Raves. Beyond the Sunday compilation, we also sometimes use submitted Rants & Raves as story idea starters.

Along those lines, we also welcome news tips, story ideas, submissions, letters to the editor and Talk of the Town essays.

Do you have something to say? Visit dCourier.com/rants-and-raves or dCourier.com/submit.

We want to hear the good and bad, the beautiful and shocking, and the left and right.

How else do you stay down the middle?

Thank you.

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