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Indy launches its new opinions page 

Voice of Reason

Throughout this newspaper’s evolution, the Independent has proudly provided our readers with a steady stream of mind-expanding content, digging into news, arts and cultural subjects often ignored by other local media. We provide commentary and share views that otherwise would never have been available in Colorado Springs.

Our loyal readership has climbed by the tens of thousands since the Indy’s birth in 1993, as an ever-growing segment of the local market has embraced this bold alternative for fearless journalism mixed with community-building activism.

One vital ingredient in that recipe has been informed opinions on issues of importance to the region and its diverse residents, now numbering more than 700,000 people. You’ve seen and read those opinions as columns, delivered colorfully (and not without controversy) through the years by the likes of Cara DeGette, Ralph Routon, John Hazlehurst, Jim Hightower and many others.

Usually, those columnists have served as the Indy’s voice. Whenever they took strong stands on subjects or area leaders, those viewpoints became the Indy’s de facto positions. But our true editorial voice only came out seasonally in the form of well-researched election endorsements.

Many times, though, we’ve felt frustration over not finding a better way to speak more effectively as a local newspaper, especially as an adversary to the Pikes Peak region’s only other editorial voice, in The Gazette. We’ve cringed at the daily paper’s many efforts — both obvious and subtle, at times even sneaky — to push their positions, which range from intolerant to outrageous. But we haven’t created the right vehicle across our media platforms to respond or, if needed, retaliate. Until now.
Starting here, the Indy’s unveiling our own weekly editorial presence, called Voice of Reason, as a permanent mainstay. It won’t be the product of just one person, but rather the consensus and collective voice of our newly formed editorial board: Indy Editor Matthew Schniper, Colorado Springs Business Journal Editor Bryan Grossman, Executive Editor Emeritus Ralph Routon, Publisher and Executive Editor Amy Gillentine Sweet, Founder John Weiss and Southeast Express Editor and General Manager Regan Foster.

We will be meeting regularly to analyze topics and decide which are most worthy. Examples of what we might cover include: topics of homelessness, marijuana, the Olympic Committee, the Pikes Peak Cog Railway deal, and the coal-belching Martin Drake Power Plant. Our editorials will be incisive and often critical, but they also might be tributes, such as a farewell to Gov. John Hickenlooper, applauding a local leader, or praising a legislative action.

We don’t want to say more, in part because we don’t know. This isn’t part of a larger strategy to promote a predetermined agenda. It’s simply opening the door for the Indy to offer our pertinent views every week, with the goal of influencing public opinion and helping make our region a better place to live.

To be clear, you’ll still see a variety of our regular columns weekly, including Queer & There and DiverseCity, as well as periodic reader-submitted Your Turn opinions.

And as always, we welcome your feedback, as a letter to the editor or as a guest commentary that responds to our positions.

We appreciate the ongoing support we receive from the community, and we look forward to engaging with you inside these pages as a Voice of Reason.

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