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EDITORIALS


Jim Ryan

From The Editor's Desk: It’s the last paper of the year, but there’s still plenty to read online

A colleague of mine recently asked for my home address. Without hesitation, I replied: “325 Baker.” It’s that point in the semester, folks.With Ohio University’s Winter Break quickly approaching, Post staffers will soon vacate our office space in Baker University Center in favor of our other homes across the country.That said, today’s newspaper is our last until 2015. Although we won’t have fresh papers on newsstands until after the holidays, we will be paying special attention to our online presence — updating our website and social media accounts from afar. (I’m headed back to my hometown in northern Michigan; other staffers will be traveling as far as Alabama, Brooklyn and North Carolina.)You can keep your finger on the pulse of what’s happening here on campus by liking our Facebook page (ThePostAthens) and following us on Twitter (@ThePost) and Instagram (@ThePostPhoto).A couple Post-related digital media notes from the past two weeks, while I’m at it:We have enabled Facebook commenting on our website. Facebook commenting — as opposed to traditional mechanisms that require readers to create a screen name and password — allows readers to comment on our posts with relative ease. Our tweets now feature “Twitter cards,” or expanded descriptions and photos that appear when a reader clicks on an individual post. They’re nothing flashy, but they better present our content on Twitter.Readers can now subscribe to a daily Post newsletter that puts our top stories in your email inbox every day before noon. Subscribe by clicking the “Email List” link on thepostathens.com.We are tripling the number of Post masthead personnel responsible for our digital operation. Caroline Bartels, Su Park and William Hoffman now manage and populate thepostathens.com and run our social media accounts.We also recently passed the 10,000 followers benchmark on Twitter and surpassed 3,400 Facebook likes. Thank you to all of you who have interacted with us on social media. More than ever, The Post is focused on expanding its digital efforts. Following us on social media gives readers a first-hand glimpse of the digital shift happening in our newsroom — or, for the next month or so, our families’ living rooms.As always, thanks for reading.Jim Ryan is a senior studying journalism and political science and editor-in-chief of The Post. Contact him at jr992810@ohio.edu or on Twitter at @Jimryan015. 



The Post

Editorial: Relax and enjoy OU’s Winter Break, Bobcats

We hope you Bobcats, as we will, take our Winter Break as time to recharge, get some sleep and eat something other than microwavable meals. In this holiday season, remember those important to you and give to those in need. Spend time with loved ones and relax. Catch up on Netflix or read that book collecting dust on your shelf. However you spend these next few weeks, we wish you love, happiness and a wonderful holiday season. See you in 2015.Editorials represent the majority opinion of The Post’s executive editors.


The Post

Editorial: Smoking ban to benefit all of Athens

We agree with the city of Athens’ smoking ban (effective Jan. 1) and Ohio University’s plan to abolish tobacco products on campus (beginning Fall Semester 2015).Athens City Council voted to charge $50 for smoking a cigarette in city parks or parking lots, and for disposing cigarette butts on sidewalks or streets.The decision is a push to keep the city clean and environmentally friendly — two things pretty much everyone can get behind.This opinion is a change of pace for us, as we generally take the stance that personal freedoms (speech, expression, assembly, etc.) should be protected.But we think the benefits of a smoke-free society outweigh the infringements on smokers’ personal freedom to light up in a public area. Few non-smokers are singing the praises of secondhand smoke.Simply put: We are sure that the campus and uptown areas will be better off because of the university and city’s decisions to diminish tobacco use.Editorials represent the majority opinion of The Post’s executive editors.


The Post

Editorial: Anonymous evidence won’t lead to investigation

After accusations of members of the ACACIA fraternity drugging, sexually assaulting and beating women at a residence commonly known as the “Blue House” on Court Street, a petition surfaced on Change.org Sunday night calling for a ban of the fraternity’s chapter at Ohio University.


The Post

Editorial: ‘Cats should be in NCAA Tournament

It was our pleasure to chronicle the Ohio volleyball team’s 17-game winning streak and undefeated Mid-American Conference campaign this year, and we’re sad to see that the Bobcats bowed out of the conference tournament too early.As you can read on our front page today, the Bobcats lost to Western Michigan in five sets — falling in the final three sets before a stunned Convo crowd.Historically, the MAC has been a conference that has had only one representative in the NCAA Tournament: its postseason tournament victor. Given Ohio’s pedigree, we believe that it should be considered for an NCAA at-large bid — or an NCAA Tournament invitation extended to a team that didn’t win its conference tournament.Ohio has a 23-5 record and has topped major-conference teams such as Ohio State, Virginia Tech and Syracuse this season.Thirty-one of the 64 NCAA Tournament teams receive bids for winning their respective conference tournaments, while the remainder receive at-large bids.Although Ohio’s conference schedule wasn’t as challenging as some other teams that are seeking NCAA at-large bids, we believe the Bobcats have what it takes to stand up to some of the nation’s best teams.It would be a shame to see Friday’s nonconference game against Dayton be the Bobcats’ final bout of the season. Our fingers are crossed for an at-large bid.Editorials represent the majority opinion of The Post’s executive editors.


The Post

Editorial: Bobcat Lane comes with an over-the-top price tag

We wrote earlier this semester about Bobcat Lane opening for a six-month trial run in December, editorializing that we were glad the road was finally opening after years of deliberation — even though it was just on a temporary basis.We also added it was concerning that Ohio University and the city of Athens were dedicating so much time and resources to the project.As was reported in Thursday’s edition of The Post, the trial-run has been delayed an additional eight months to August 2015. The project will be combined with additional Richland Avenue changes, and the university is setting aside $355,000 for construction.That is absurd.Although the university said the project will consist of more than just pulling three stakes out of the ground and leveling off the sidewalk so that cars can drive over, $355,000 is far too much for the opening up of what is essentially a right-turn-only alleyway.We had been glad to hear that Bobcat Lane would open this year, as tentatively planned. The road, when finally opened, should ease traffic in front of Baker and on Richland Avenue and create a safer atmosphere for pedestrians crossing Richland at a crosswalk where a student was struck by a car earlier this semester.OU officials said the $355,000 will finance the widening of Bobcat Lane that will make it passable for motor coaches and safer for pedestrians, as well as improved lighting in the area.Those are good ideas, but not $355,000 good ideas. OU officials: We suggest you take action to open the road as soon as possible. See how it goes. Make improvements based on your findings.Editorials represent the majority opinion of The Post’s executive editors.


Jim Ryan

From The Editor's Desk: Breaking news coverage important to ‘Post’ readers

I often hear that a journalist’s instincts take over in the midst of a breaking news event.My first reaction when I heard of the fire in Uptown Athens on Sunday was to mistakenly run the wrong way down South Congress Street, away from the fire. I saw smoke, but it took me a trip around the block to find the fire.Luckily for me, many of The Post’s staffers had better instincts than I. After shooting a quick video of the flames and jotting down a couple notes at approximately 5:30 a.m., I spent the rest of the day holed up in our newsroom, updating our coverage as new information became available.A team of approximately 10 Post reporters and photographers stayed on the scene, feeding information back to our managing editor, Sara Jerde, and myself. Their reporting was read by thousands of readers — many of whom also shared our content on social media.It’s common for readers to turn to our website for breaking news coverage, but Sunday’s online audience was far and away the largest that The Post has ever had during a single 24-hour period.On Sunday alone, our online news stories, photos and videos were viewed more than 150,000 times. That affirms to me that The Post’s commitment to breaking news reporting is paying dividends to our readers.Please don’t get me wrong: Posties don’t revel in situations of tragedy, panic or sadness. Rather, we know that it’s our duty to provide our readers information about such events.Our efforts, it appears, have been mostly well-received. But journalists are under the microscope more than ever during times of breaking news, and I have fielded complaints from readers and sources this semester about Post photographers being too steadfast; reporters pestering authorities to get the latest updates; and editors spreading misinformation on social media.We do our best to eliminate those instances and strive to treat such situations — and those affected by them — with the professionalism and respect they deserve. I was particularly proud of how Post staffers conducted themselves while reporting on the Uptown fire.I was also deeply moved by many of the stories they have told this week. I hope many of you were too.As always, thanks for reading.Jim Ryan is a senior studying journalism and political science and editor-in-chief of The Post. Want to sound off on this issue? Contact him at jr992810@ohio.edu or on Twitter at @Jimryan015


The Post

Editorial: All should join sexual assault training

It’s important that people can go out in public and do their jobs without the fear of being assaulted or harassed. Any program that aims to erase that fear should be lauded rather than ignored.


The Post

Editorial: Staff devoted to covering Union Street fire through to end

Three days after the fire that devastated some businesses on West Union Street and displaced 40 Ohio University students, authorities are still picking up the pieces and planning their next moves. We are too.In the past three days, we’ve published 11 stories on our front page. Every one of them has been related to the Uptown fire.Normally, it would be ludicrous to devote that much front-page real estate to one topic, but in this instance, it’s a no-brainer.The fire is the talk of the town and has a larger residual effect on our readers than anything we have reported in recent memory.From the local businesses that were decimated and the city officials responsible for cleaning up the mess, to the students without a home and the school administrators finding housing for them, many lives have changed since Sunday morning.Just like those affected by the fire, we’re in this for the long haul. We’re committed to covering the aftermath of this tragic event until the displaced students find a new sense of normalcy and West Union Street is reconstructed.Stick with us along the way.Editorials represent the majority opinion of The Post’s executive editors.


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