I normally don't write for the paper. In fact, I don't write much of anything, period. Back at my college paper, a now-somewhat-well-known reviewer called my style "puffy and stuffy."
Today, though, I want to write about the Wal-Mart insert in this issue. It may seem unusual, perhaps off-putting, that though we're locally owned and operated, we accept ads from chains — especially those we've decried in our news and opinion pages.
But we don't let advertisers impact our stories, and we don't let our editorial positions dictate who may advertise.
If you've been with us for a while, you've seen all kinds of ads in our paper: promoting politicians we endorse, politicians we don't endorse, guns, tobacco, medical marijuana. We accept them all (except for adult services), because like most businesses, we don't insist upon a political litmus test for our customers.
In this case, nearly seven weeks ago one of our reps was contacted by an ad agency inquiring about rates and deadlines. We negotiated and came to what we think is a fair price. End of story. Nothing nefarious or untoward.
We believe in supporting local businesses. We know that national chains can squelch competition, and that many of our readers abhor doing business with them. But we also know other readers, for myriad reasons, feel differently. And to that diversity of opinion and commerce, we say right on.