Archive for January, 2014

Pseudoephedrine and the editorial board

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Members of the Charleston Daily Mail editorial board met with community members who want to make it so people suffering from colds would need a prescription for drugs with pseudoephedrine — a key ingredient in meth.

The Daily Mail’s editorial page has been reluctant to get behind this prescription-only effort.

Former W.Va. Sen. Dan Foster, a Democrat from Kanawha County who has headed up a drug abuse task force, gently took issue with an editorial that embraced most of the group’s findings — but found exception with its behind-the-counter Sudafed plank.

Foster also referenced a Daily Mail news story based on a poll that found most West Virginians against such prescription-only measures. Foster said the story was misleading with questions meant to steer respondents in that direction.

He came to the Daily Mail office along with Dr. Brad Henry, a physician in Charleston, as well as Detective Clark Green and Lt. Eric Johnson of the Metro Drug Unit.

Only Foster and Henry are in the video frame (the limits of a mounted webcam) but you can hear everybody. Present for the Daily Mail were me (editor Brad McElhinny), editorial page editor Kelly Merritt, editorial writer and columnist Don Surber and capitol reporter Whitney Burdette (Here’s the story Whitney wrote).

Worth noting is that these sessions are not as organized as TV news roundtables. They’re just conversations about the issues — and sometimes wander off track. Here’s the session if you’d like to see it, but beware that it lasted an hour.


Helping with information — and water — in a WV water crisis

Saturday, January 11, 2014

In the midst of a water contamination crisis in West Virginia, employees from Trane Heating and Cooling helped Charleston Newspapers get hundreds of bottles of water to residents.

A visit from E. Gordon Gee

Thursday, January 9, 2014

E. Gordon Gee, who is president at West Virginia University while the search goes on for a new long-term president, is making the rounds.

gordongeeGee made a big splash earlier this week with a YouTube Top 10 list about his reasons for returning to WVU, where he began many years ago.

Then he appeared at the state Capitol at Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s State of the State speech.

On Thursday morning, Gee appeared in the Daily Mail newsroom. I meant to livestream the discussion so you could hear Gee right in the moment but I had connectivity issues. I did manage to record the session, though, so it’s posted below.

Present were Gee, WVU board of governors chairman Jim Dailey (he’s the other guy you can see in the video), university spokesman John Bolt, university relations vice president Sharon Martin, myself (I’m the newspaper’s editor), editorial page editor Kelly Merritt, editorial writer and columnist Don Surber (he’s the one who sometimes appears behind Gee and Dailey; he sat close because he has some trouble hearing) and education reporter Shay Maunz.

Usually these newsroom visits are getting-to-know you sessions, so it was a pretty friendly atmosphere. The newspaper’s official, initial editorial opinion of Gee was already favorable.

If you are interested in getting to know Gordon Gee a little better, here he is: