Daily Editorial: Farewell to teacher, friend | VailDaily.com

Daily Editorial: Farewell to teacher, friend

Vail Daily Editorial Board
Vail CO, Colorado

Don Rogers says he is leaving the Vail Daily today in good shape. He’s not one to take credit, but the strength of the community newspaper he’s leaving behind has everything to do with the vision, leadership and fairness that have been hallmarks of his management.

For instance: The vaildaily.com Web site was a far cry from what it is now. The site still needs some work, but the videos, instant comments, blogs and frequent updates are far more vibrant and valuable to readers.

And the opinion section, where Don was most visible, didn’t even exist when he started in late 1999. The editorials, letters and columns are now where the paper begins and ends for some readers.

Though Don got a lot of satisfaction from his editorials, seeing his own opinion in print and trying to defend it was not his priority. You, the reader, were always top of mind for him.

Critical to him in guiding news coverage was what you needed to know and what you wanted to know (as long as we didn’t have to needlessly invade someone’s privacy to get the facts).

Don gave the Daily’s reporters and editors a formidable challenge: to give you stories that held government accountable while also writing about the things that were of concern in your daily lives. He asked us to give residents a voice while giving everyone we talk to a fair shake.

Beyond the lofty ideals of journalism, Don reminded us not to overlook events of which the community was proud. Neither CNN nor the New York Times is going to cover the Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy’s trip to the Andes but he made sure we always had plenty of room for the county’s kids.

Don also kept us aware of our responsibility to the community: We are the only source of local news in the Vail Valley and we have to be even-handed and accurate all the time. When we screw up, we have to admit it. Don was the one who started putting corrections on the front page.

Don’s goal was not to print a paper that his bosses, our advertisers or the bestowers of journalism awards would love. His hope was to put out a paper that you wanted to read every day.

” Vail Daily Editorial Board

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