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The Herald, The Mail have separate roles

January 08, 2001

The Herald, The Mail have separate roles



A couple of things you may not know about The Herald-Mail ...

We are among a small number of newspaper companies that continue to publish two daily newspapers, Monday through Friday.

Most of our Washington County readers are aware that we publish both, The Morning Herald and The Daily Mail.

But many of our readers in West Virginia and Pennsylvania have never seen the Mail. To them, The Herald-Mail is only The Morning Herald. The Mail is our afternoon paper.

Many in Hagerstown and Washington County believe the papers are one and the same. They are not.

The Herald has four news bureaus: Charles Town and Martinsburg in West Virginia, and Waynesboro and Chambersburg in Pennsylvania. Each is staffed with a reporter.

The Herald is edited with the region - what we at The Herald-Mail call the Tri-State area - in mind. You will find many more stories about Pennsylvania and West Virginia in the Herald than you will in the Mail.

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We do that to reflect the readership of the paper. About half of the Herald's readership is outside of Washington County.

The Mail's readership is almost entirely in Hagerstown and other parts of Washington County. Again, the paper is edited to reflect that.

The Mail will accept and publish nearly all stories, press releases and photos it receives from readers and deems suitable for a family newspaper. The Herald is more selective in the information it publishes.

The Mail has features, like Mail Call, that run only in the afternoon paper.

The only parts of the paper that are virtually identical in both The Herald and The Mail are the Lifestyle section and the Opinion Page.

Our news operations are actually two distinct news departments.

Terry Headlee, the executive editor, oversees the newsroom. This includes the reporting staffs, news and copy editors, sports and features departments, photographers and editorial assistants. Essentially, the newsroom is responsible for everything in the paper that's not an advertisement or part of the Opinion section.

Bob Maginnis is editor of the Opinion section, also called the editorial page.

This section of the paper is where we, you and our syndicated columnists pen thoughts and opinions on the issues of the day.

Bob writes editorials and columns, and is responsible for everything on the Opinion pages. Tim Rowland helps Bob and writes a column three days a week.

The newsroom and the editorial department are separate entities. Each does its own thing without consulting the other.

That's done to try to keep the news coverage separate from the opinions that we or you may have. The news coverage strives to be as objective and fair as we can possibly be.

Most newspapers believe it's important, if not necessary, to keep the two functions separate.

If you have any questions about the newspaper, you can send them to me via e-mail at jleague@herald-mail.com or via regular mail to The Herald-Mail, P.O. Box 439, Hagerstown, Md. 21741.

John League is editor and publisher of The Herald-Mail.

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