The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

Our opinion

Challenge or insult?


I s it a challenge to be a wake up call before it comes true? Or is it an insult to those working to maintain and build a city?

That all depends on your point of view and how you react to the opinions of others.

We’re talking, of course, about the “Lights Out” advertisement that began running in the Sun-Telegraph Wednesday.

Predictably, reactions have run the gamut from chuckles to outrage.

No matter your reaction, the ad did what its author intended. It gained attention.

Now, the question is, what is our reaction going to be?

It takes little effort to be negative. Anyone can do that at any time. The mark of a true life champion is the ability to look beyond the negative to find the good in something, or someone, no matter how small that seed of good may appear.

Sidney is fortunate to have a good corps of leaders that fall into that second category. They have the ability to identify the hard-to-find seeds then nourish them into a healthy plant with strong roots and a good future.

We saw that happen with Cabela’s, which grew from a table-top idea into a multi-billion dollar business and industry leader with which Sidney also grew. Local leaders were there, helping where they could.

We’ve also seen it happen with the decline of businesses, which resulted in layoffs and uncertainty.

But good news and progress don’t usually travel as quickly and with the same timbre as their opposites.

We were happy and proud to report another new business expansion, the second so far this year, also in Wednesday’s paper. We know there are more in the works that can’t be spoken about because of the oft-sensitive nature of business recruiting and negotiations.

But we, like hopefully you do, as well, hold a good measure of respect and hope in the abilities of the city, county, chamber of commerce, tourism board and too many others to list who spend their days seeking a better way for our community.

Too often, their efforts and successes aren’t seen, or even recognized. But we do, and thank you for all you do.

That brings us to the ‘How could you?’

How could you accept an advertisement that is a slap in the face to those who you just offered praise?

How could you allow someone to be so negative about the community you claim to love?

And how could you see this as anything but bad?

The answer is simple.

We’re pretty fond of the United States Constitution around here. In particular the Bill of Rights.

That's the one that upholds a number of citizen rights, including the notion of Freedom of Speech.

Yes, we would be happy to publish only positive and glowing remarks. But that wouldn’t always give a very accurate picture, would it?

And let’s extrapolate a little, to where we only printed the things we agree with. How responsible would we be to include only opinions that reflect our own?

At that point, we become press agents, rather than a news organization that can be trusted to give you the entire story.

Yes, it would have been easier to turn this opinion away. But at what cost?

We have faced threats of losing dollars because of this. True, it might hurt, but not as much as losing our objectivity and integrity.

This way, you know your own opinion can be heard when the time comes.


Reader Comments

Wildrose writes:

Well stated & couldn't agree with you more. Freedom of speech is a must!


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