Story location suggests anything but neutrality

Like letter writer Logan Clemmer (Thursday’s CNJ), I too was “wholly dismayed to wake up to the Sunday morning edition of the CNJ’s front page article about judges that are refusing to perform marriage ceremonies.”

The reason for my consternation differed substantially from his.

Had I not been aware of the Clovis News Journal’s policy of strict neutrality in elections, to the point of refusing to endorse any candidate for any position, I would have suspected that a front page story above the fold within 48 hours of an election was a blatant attempt to skew the results of the municipal judge race. Reasonable people might conclude that my suspicions are unfounded, but it is difficult for me to overcome these misgivings due the content and positioning of the article.

I have to assume that professional media publishers are aware of and still believe in the impact of an article given the prominence of “front page, above the fold.”

The results of Tuesday’s election, however, indicate that this positioning may no longer be as influential as it has been in the past.

There is always the possibility that I am misunderstanding the depth of knowledge and political insight resident at the CNJ, and that the layout specialists merely shoehorned the article into its position due to space requirements. Should that be the case, you have my abject apologies for my overestimating your grasp of eastern New Mexico politics.

R.L. Render