by John G. Miller
'Tis the season -- no, not that season.
I'm talking about election season, when we experience an outpouring of politicians' visits in one form or another.
The current trend seems to be personal visits with media, looking for any free morsel of exposure they can gain.
That will eventually be followed up by paid advertising, the only form of media where politicians should be able to dictate the rhetoric to get their campaign message across.
Our approach here is simple. We don't endorse candidates.
And when it comes to the personal visits, right now we're only talking to gubernatorial candidates willing to discuss issues of importance to our readers.
As it gets closer to the election (the primary's in May, by the way), we'll provide a look at all statewide and area races, with the emphasis on issues.
That's been our plan in the past, and our readers seem to have appreciated our efforts.
Our news coverage isn't going to be used by any candidates just wanting to spout their agendas and earn name recognition -- that's called advertising.
But for candidates who are willing to answer questions, we'll serve as a conduit to give our readers the best information so they can make informed decisions.
Of course, part of that requires our readers to do some homework.
Think about issues that are important to you and your family. To your place of employment. To your friends and neighbors.
Now, jot them down on a piece of paper and mail them to us (P.O. Box 2000, Clarksburg, WV 26301) or e-mail them to me (firstname.lastname@example.org).
We'll have a team of reporters and editors working on election coverage.
And we'll be contacting readers throughout the election season, asking for input on what you want to know about the candidates.
We hope this approach will help lead the state to a brighter future.
We've taken positive steps the past few years in some regards, but I think we all agree there is much work to be done.
The 2004 election will be pivotal to our future. It's time we start asking more of our leaders. And we're asking for your help.
Managing Editor John G. Miller can be reached at 626-1473 or by e-mail at jmiller@exponent-telegram