Ray Birring: Put columnist Jardine on The Bee’s Opinions page

February 15, 2014 

In the Feb. 11 edition of The Modesto Bee, I was drawn to an editing error. Jeff Jardine wrote a string of editorialized articles that covered topics ranging from a local bet on NFL teams to advertising a cancer awareness fundraiser.

In that day’s Local News section, Jardine’s writing took up 95 of the total 628 square inches appropriated to local news.

Dedicating 15 percent of a local news section to the opinion of one writer not only draws away from The Modesto Bee’s chance to showcase important local events, it also muddies the line between the newspaper’s journalism and opinion. While opinion may include news, news should not contain opinion.

Though Jardine’s writings do capture a sense of the local culture, I think it would better suited for the editorial or op-ed sections.



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