Newspaper looking for new local conservative columnist - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Newspaper looking for new local conservative columnist

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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- The Courier Journal says it plans to replace its local conservative contributing columnist after he abruptly quit last week.

"If we had equal resources for the conservative and libertarian perspective as we they give to the liberal perspective, we would have a good and vigorous debate and the community would benefit," says John David Dyche.

Monday morning Dyche was on WHAS Radio explaining his decision to step aside as a contributing columnist after the newspaper refused to run his latest column, something he says has never happened before in the decade he has written for the paper.

Dyche sat down with WDRB News to elaborate on why he parted company with the newspaper and  told us some of the suggestions he had for the paper.

"I suggested having a left page and a right page with equal resources," he explained. "The left page with liberal opinion, cartoons, and letters; and the right page would have conservative cartoon, editorials and letters."

Dyche also suggesting that the newspaper become more transparent in its editorial decisions and even live stream on its web page its editorial meetings to see how the news process works.

"I also suggested they disclose their editors and reporters political affiliations and voting records," added Dyche, "so readers can make a determination as to whether their bias may be getting into their coverage."

Dyche telling us that he was told by the paper's editorial director that his column was killed because it strayed from the column's purpose which was to address the conservative issues of the day.

Says Dyche, "I replied and said it was the issues of the day including liberal media bias and the viability of old line newspapers."

Dyche saying his suggestions might even bring back some conservative readers who no longer subscribe to the paper.

"It would be good for them in terms of business, because conservative readers would come back and quit leaving," said Dyche.

This is the response from Courier Journal editorial director Pam Platt.

"I declined the column because one of its opening premises was just wrong. We uphold two long and strong traditions on the editorial pages of The Courier-Journal: an historic, progressive institutional voice in our editorials, and a spirited array of voices and points of view offered by readers and columnists in letters to the editors and local guest columns and syndicated pieces, as well as cartoons. So the marketplace of ideas is very much alive and well in our print and online opinion pages.  As a matter of fact, the least amount of space on our pages each day is devoted to what we have written. Most of the space is devoted to what other people think, including people who disagree with our editorials. For instance, in one January Sunday Forum section, that space included a front-page piece by Sen. Mitch McConnell, a featured local column by Metro Council Member Kelly Downard and a syndicated column by Charles Krauthammer, all conservatives. Given this tradition, of course we will continue to feature local conservative voices in The Courier-Journal. The columnist who quit over the declined piece will be replaced."

Platt also told us by phone that the paper may even hire more than one local conservative columnist and that the newspaper is open to many different points of view.

As for Dyche, he says he will let the dust settle for a bit before deciding whether to write a column for another publication.

Dyche is a full-time practicing attorney.

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