Your editor usually writes an editorial every week. We believe the editorial is the heart of the newspaper and writing one is therefore almost a sacred duty.
Occasionally, someone tells us that he or she liked what we wrote. Sometimes the opposite is true and we hear about that too.
Every now and then, however, the work overwhelms us or inspiration just doesn’t strike and there is no editorial for that week. Instead we substitute an opinion piece by Tom Fletcher or some other columnist.
Even though we feel guilty about not writing an editorial, we rarely hear about it from our readers.
Let us not do Question of the Week, however, and our readers are almost sure to let us know they missed it.
For last week’s issue, for instance, your editor went to Blue River the previous Thursday to cover the cross-country ski races there. That’s the day when the Question of the Week usually gets done.
One delay led to another, pretty soon the Monday deadline was here and so we decided to do without.
And we heard about it. Nothing rude or nasty, just a typical Canadian, “So, no Question of the Week this week, eh?”
Why the Question of the Week should be so popular is not clear.
Although probably the majority agree to answer when approached, almost as many decline to participate. Every now and then people even walk quickly away when they see your editor out in the Brookfield Mall parking lot with his camera.
One reason has got to be that Question of the Week introduces people to their neighbours. We live in a small town. With five faces per week times 52 weeks per year, a significant percentage of the local population appears in the feature over time.
The Question of the Week also gives a voice to people who otherwise likely would not speak in public, whether by choice or lack of opportunity. Your editor is constantly impressed by how often we get intelligent and innovative answers to difficult questions – sometimes from the most unlikely looking sources.
Although some people are reluctant to appear in Question of the Week, mothers with babies or young children almost always participate. They want to show off to the world their beautiful offspring.
On a sadder note, occasionally we have found ourselves using a Question of the Week photo in an obituary. Often it’s a person’s only recent professionally-taken photograph.
And so we’ll continue to do Question of the Week. Our readers demand it. Just, please, bear with us if we cannot produce it every week.