By Dora Totoian • Of The News-Register • 

Letter to Readers: No mention of siege?

When I picked up last Friday’s News-Register, I was surprised when I didn’t see an article about the insurrection in Washington, D.C. I assumed it had been assigned to someone while I had been away, blissfully unaware, at an appointment.

But there was no local story, no Associated Press story included in the print issue and no editorial on it. (Today’s Viewpoints section, however, is chock-full of commentary on the issue.)

I felt like I was losing my mind. Few local elected officials condemned the coup attempt, most Republicans nationally minimized it, and countless everyday, non-politician people were acting like a mob had not just attacked the seat of democracy in the U.S.

The spectacle at the U.S. Capitol did not surprise me. A segment of right-wing extremists, emboldened by the president, have long expressed an open desire for violence, armed conflict and even civil war.

Nonetheless, it was shocking to see it finally happen. Only one other event in my life has momentarily frozen me in the same way.

One of my favorite things about the News-Register is that it’s hyperlocal and provides readers Yamhill County-specific news they won’t find anywhere else. It makes sense that most days, our paper isn’t filled with stories about non-local happenings.

But an attempted coup is one moment to break with those guidelines. Moreover, an anti-democratic attack on the United States has plenty of local angles because it affects everyone who wants to continue living in a democracy.

Reporting the news and choosing how to focus our limited resources are difficult tasks even in non-COVID times. Reasonable people can take vastly different approaches, and there is rarely one right answer when there are so many potential roads to follow. The story is never over, however, and there will always be room to rethink in future editions.

Dora Totoian

City government reporter




And what’s worse is that the article in the Viewpoints section in the January 15 edition offers opinions about the event, but all from a similar point of view. What happened in Washington D.C. was terrible but it would seem the newspaper could have found someone, somewhere to offer a different view. Even if we believe it is wrong.



Not one of the letters and columns we printed in the Jan. 15 Viewpoints section was solicited by us. They were all sent our way by local residents moved to comment.

We published every letter we got, plus all but one longer op-ed piece. That piece took essentially the same thrust, but was too long to squeeze into this week's section. We hope to get it in next week.

Assuming the submissions are articulate and coherent, thus make their point effectively, we are open to publishing op-ed material from the full gamut of political views.

When it comes to letters, we try to publish every one we get from a resident of our circulation area. It is very rare indeed when we find we have to reject one.

Steve Bagwell, Editorial Page Editor

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