National issues affect all locales

I am a frequent contributor to literally dozens of editorial pages throughout the country — from the East to the West Coast. My op-eds are published in a variety of large and small newspapers, including the Denton Record-Chronicle.

You can imagine, therefore, how disappointed I was to learn that the new editor of one of these newspapers was “urged” by his supervisor to publish op-eds focused on local rather than national issues. This came as a complete surprise. And it was especially disheartening since I am a proud alumni of a university located in that state, having earned all three of my degrees there (B.A., 1974; M.A., 1975; Ph.D., 1978).

As a result of this restricted coverage, it was with great regret that I terminated my membership in the newspaper’s Writers Group. After writing 60 commentaries for this newspaper, my final column was published last month: “Leaving Afghanistan Was Difficult and Correct — Orderly Exit Might Have Been Impossible.” Ironically, this op-ed triggered numerous responses, both positive and negative, demonstrating that local readers are indeed interested in and engaged by commentaries addressing national issues.

As tempting as it might have been to react immediately without thought by discouraging the newspaper’s readers from renewing their subscription, such a recommendation would be purely punitive and counterproductive. Instead, I encourage my friends and colleagues to subscribe to newspapers in their states, like the Denton Record-Chronicle in Texas — newspapers that wisely continue to publish commentaries simultaneously addressing local, state and national issues.

To be clear, I understand the severity of the crisis faced by newspapers in this age of online and 24/7 news. I am also cognizant of the fact that financial problems have resulted in the cutback of staff. But it makes no sense to address this crisis by narrowing the focus of op-eds. In my opinion, this will only dilute a newspaper’s quality and significantly reduce its appeal. Moreover, it will deprive readers of a wide array of important perspectives on national issues affecting their lives.

Richard A. Cherwitz,


Form, function on display

The Denton County Courthouse-on-the-Square Museum has an amazing new exhibit titled “Form and Function.” Artifacts in the exhibit include pottery and ceramics from early Native American pots to contemporary works by people in the Denton State Supported Living Center.

Ceramists and potters from the University of North Texas and Texas Woman’s University have items on display that defy your imagination with their intricate designs. Denton County once had six pottery kilns that began producing utilitarian items. Potters began adorning the works with decorative elements that gradually grew into beautiful works of art.

Several of the items on display have been recognized nationally and internationally. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Paul McCoig,


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