As a local newspaper, it is important to us that we record the file of the community in a fair, fearless, and accurate way. Our local newspapers are the statement of record for action in our community, and a voice of the community — but as a newspaper, we also have a voice that is distinctly ours.

Unlike websites that post newsletters and press releases, our newspapers take an active role in shaping the narrative according to our collective interests, points of view, and even our human failings. We hope to deliver the straight dish in every instance but maybe one week we add a little too much paprika, maybe the next week none at all.

In our effort to remain both transparent and participatory in the formation of the community news record, we have formalized an editorial board for each of the Atascadero News and Paso Robles Press.

Our board will consist of four standing members and one quarterly rotating member, as well as occasionally guest members and advisory members as appropriate for the topic. Currently, both boards consist of our publishers — Nicholas Mattson and Hayley Mattson — and our editors — Luke Phillips and Brian Williams. We are currently accepting nominations and applications from the community, as well as soliciting select community members to fill our quarterly rotating position beginning in 2020. We are soliciting a Paso Robles resident to sit on our Paso Robles Press board, and an Atascadero resident to sit on our Atascadero News board.

Our goal as an editorial board will be the same as our mission as a media company — “Making communities better through print.” We will approach all issues and editorial columns with a dedicated and transparent agenda to fulfill that mission.

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Our position on issues is social, not political or partisan. We do not hold a position of conservatism or liberalism, nor do we intend to lean left or right as a rule. Our position on endorsement of candidates is to support those which we feel strongly about, and resign ourselves to withhold endorsements where there is no consensus. We do not endorse candidates in a single person race.

When we publish a column as a board, it is done with a unanimous approval by the board. We may not agree on the issues, but we will agree on the published word of the column. Each of our editorial board members, including the rotating quarterly member, has full veto powers on part or all of the column.

Our subject matters range across whatever the community spectrum provides as a topic necessitating our board’s attention according to our company mission — from social and civic concerns to spotlight on community successes.

We welcome input from the community in letters to the editor or suggestions on topics in need of attention. We are a diverse community and our hope is that our editorial will build a sense of solidarity and accountability among ourselves.

Our editorials may be relevant to both communities and published in both the Atascadero News and Paso Robles Press, or it may be published only in the city in which it is most relevant.

In order to maintain our own accountability and remain true to our mission, we ought to be able to end each of our editorials with a statement of why we feel the publishing of said editorial makes the community better.

In reference to a Thomas Fuller quote so significant it is often mis-attributed to Benjamin Franklin, it is our organizational commitment to continue coverage of a community doing “something worth the writing” and publishing “something worth the reading.”

Signed, Nicholas Mattson, on behalf of the Atascadero News and Paso Robles Press editorial board.