March 4, 2010

New Maine Today Editorial Board unveils new process for its papers

— Today's endorsement of a ''no'' vote on Question 1 marks a new process for editorial decison-making at the three Maine Today Media newspapers, the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram, the Kennebec Journal and the Morning Sentinel.

The endorsement was made by a board that includes Maine Today Media editor and publisher Richard L. Connor, Press Herald editorial writers M.D. Harmon and Greg Kesich, Central Maine Newspaper's Editorial Page Editor Bill Thompson, Chief Financial Officer Ann Roderick, Human Resources Director Karen Dobyn and Circulation Director Mark Barry.

Positions will be reached by a majority vote and appear in all editions of the company's newspapers and news Web sites.

The composition of the board marks a break with tradition, Connor said. ''Our approach to news and opinion is sometimes seen as unorthodox. We see our approach innovative, creative and quite frankly one that is necessary to reenergize our business.

''Most often editorial boards are comprised almost entirely of the editor, the publisher and editorial writers. Virtually everyone on the board is from the news department. We believe the institutional endorsements of candidates and issues should at least symbolically represent the entire newspaper. In order to achieve that goal we've added executives from other departments of the paper so that more of our employees are represented in our views and final decisions. Obviously, this does not equate to all employees agreeing with each position.

''We also look for diversity on the board -- diversity of life and work experience, diversity of gender and other factors. Our new editorial board at our papers meets this new criteria. Our method just seems to be a better representative of democracy.''

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