Sunday, December 14, 2003

We'd like a few words from you

Two weeks ago we rolled out our redesigned Editorial and Opinions pages, offering readers new ways to talk to us, realigning some existing features and promising to ask for your opinions while offering ours.

Today we have a couple of things to share and a couple of requests to make.

In October we published a list of more than 30 syndicated columnists who have appeared in the editorial section during the past year. We asked readers to tell us which ones they liked and disliked, and why.

We received hundreds of responses that generally fell into one of three categories: those who identified themselves as conservatives and said they hated the liberal writers; those who said they were liberal and hated the conservatives; and those who identified themselves as liberal or conservative, but said they appreciated being able to read opinions from both persuasions. The third group was the most numerous, a fact I attribute to the intelligence of most people who take the time to seriously consider the issues of the day.

The two columnists mentioned most also were the two with the highest favorable ratings among those who responded - Walter Williams and Charles Krauthammer. Several people complained that we don't run them more often. There is an easy explanation for that - Williams and Krauthammer each write only once a week, and that's how often we run them - Krauthammer on Friday and Williams on Sunday. Other favorites turned out to be William Safire, Richard Cohen, Leonard Pitts Jr., Kathleen Parker and James J. Kilpatrick. We've anchored them to the Opinions page on specific days of the week. We also will routinely include the thoughts of Thomas L. Friedman, Jonah Goldberg, Armstrong Williams, Maureen Dowd, Nicholas D. Kristof and many others in our presentations.

Now we need your opinions on a couple of other issues. This is December, which means it's a good time for looking back and looking ahead.

We want to know what you think the turning points were in 2003 - pivotal moments in the life of our community that changed the way we think or do things, or altered our expectations for things to come. We also would like to know what key points you believe the community will reach in 2004.

Borgman This also is the time of year when we look over the body of work of my favorite cartoonist, Jim Borgman, seen drawing his brains out in the self-portrait at right. The Best of Borgman 2003 will be on the Dec. 28 Forum cover. Go to our Web site at Enquirer.com, where all of Jim's cartoons are archived. Look them over and send us the dates of three favorites.

E-mail all your suggestions to us by midnight Thursday, Dec. 18, to letters@enquirer.com. You can also mail your responses to both of these requests to Enquirer Editorial Page, 312 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH, 45202. We look forward to hearing from you.


David Wells is editor of the Enquirer editorial page. Contact him at (513) 768-8310; fax: (513) 768-8610; e-mail: dwells@enquirer.com

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