That's opinion, not news

Question: Maybe I got up on the wrong side of the bed Saturday, but having slogged all the way through Ms. Nappi's article on candidate wives, I wonder why you didn't place it on the editorial page or back with Doonesbury and Mallard? Her last two sentences are a blatant endorsement of Hillary Clinton! That's an editorial, position, not news!

And, as a supposedly shining light for literary and grammatical correctness, quit relying on spell check, i.e., the caption on the Looking Back photo of Spokane's snow in 1969..."lead". Didn't you mean "led"? What ever happened to proofreaders? -- Frank Schoonover, Spokane

Answer: Rebecca Nappi is one of The Spokesman-Review's news columnists. As a columnist, she is allowed to express a point of view, something reporters are not allowed to do in news articles. You'd discover similarly situated columnists at most other papers have the same freedom.

Because readers still are cofnused by the columnists' role, we've talked about doing a better job labeling their columns as "opinion" or "commentary." Your note serves as a reminder that we need to move ahead with that.

Newspapers really don't have proofreaders anymore, at least not in the way most people would think of them. We have copy editors who edit stories and captions and write headlines and design pages, etc. They do use computer systems that provide a spell checker. It is a great tool, but as the writer notes, terribly overused. We need to do a better job proof reading our pages in order to avoid such embarrassing mistakes. -- Steve Smith, editor

Useful links
About Steve Smith
About Gary Graham
About Ken Sands
About Doug Floyd
About Carla Savalli