Community discussion has always been at the heart of Civil Beat.

Over the past four years, the website has provided a forum for vibrant and robust debate on issues of importance to the people of Hawaii. Articles and commentaries have collectively generated tens of thousands of comments from readers, some quite passionate. Lots of people have views they want to share with the rest of the world.

And now we do, too. We think it’s time for Civil Beat to lead some of the discussion around community issues, rather than just provide a forum for others.

The Civil Beat Editorial Board:  Chloe Fox, Richard Wiens, Pierre Omidyar, Eric Pape and Patti Epler. August 28, 2014

The Civil Beat Editorial Board: From left, Chloe Fox, Richard Wiens, Pierre Omidyar, Eric Pape and Patti Epler.

PF Bentley/Civil Beat

We’ve written a handful of editorials over the years, but today we’re launching a weekly editorial that tackles issues and events that make headlines and deserve thoughtful consideration by policy makers.

The editorials represent the view of our Civil Beat Editorial Board — Pierre Omidyar, Patti Epler, Eric Pape, Richard Wiens and Chloe Fox. (Click the links to read more about each member.)

The Editorial Board will reach out to key civic leaders in an effort to learn more about the issues we want to take a position on. We’d love to invite you to come in and chat. We’re happy to make house calls.

One thing we won’t be doing is endorsing political candidates. We may weigh in on ideas or proposals from people running for office, but it’s been a long-standing Civil Beat policy not to support any particular candidate. As journalists, we don’t contribute to candidates or fundraise for them, we don’t put political signs in our yards or bumper stickers on our cars.

That said, we have invited the candidates for the top offices to come in and spend some time talking over their views and ideas. We’ll be sharing those with you not only in editorials but in stories by our staff writers so voters will have the information necessary to make up their own minds.

We’re also reorganizing our columns and commentary into a new Opinion section to make it easier for readers to distinguish news stories from opinion pieces and submitted commentaries. Watch for a new tab at the top of the home page that will pull up a drop-down menu of editorials, Off the Beats, Community Voices and regular columnists.

We’re as intent as ever on producing the kind of journalism that gets people thinking about and talking about what’s happening in Hawaii. We hope this new editorial effort is another way to ratchet up the discussion.

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