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Brenda J. Linert

Good journalists own up to their mistakes

Former President Donald Trump, who first coined the phrase “fake news,” has been gone from elected office and also from most major social media platforms for more than four months now. Yet, those words — Fake News! — that make most journalists’ hair stand on end, still resonate ...

What happens when transparency ceases?

He risks death or, at the very least, becoming physically and emotionally broken. But as much as the outside world can see, so far Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny remains resolute. Only a few months into his 2 1/2 -year Russian prison sentence on charges of violating terms of a ...

Some candidates just avoid the press

The reaction of voters to some far-right proposals by freshman Ohio Rep. Mike Loychik, R-Bazetta, seems to be utter shock — on both sides of the spectrum. Voters either are thrilled with what Loychik is doing in Columbus and believe Trumbull County has long needed such a conservative ...

More on FEMA funeral expenses reimbursement

You’ve probably heard by now that the Federal Emergency Management Agency is offering financial funeral and burial assistance for families who lost a loved one to COVID-19. We’ve written a few stories about it, and last week we published an editorial explaining some details. Our ...

China’s growing power brings challenge

Nearly every day we hear or read of increasing concerns over communist China’s economic and military growth. Recent data published in the Washington Post indicates China logged 2.3 percent growth for 2020, making it the only major economy to grow last year, despite the crippling effects of ...

How quickly things change — and stay

Didn’t we just do this? Things circle around increasingly fast these days, but this year’s Easter celebration should be quite a bit different than the one we experienced last year. That was when most of us probably either watched our priests or ministers deliver their messages via ...

Democracy suffers when information is blocked

News coverage of recent arrests, detention or threats of charges, sadly, appear to be just the latest attempts to silence media and the free flow of information that journalists provide around the world. Here are a few of the latest frightening examples — including one in America that ...

Johnstown Flood Museum well worth the trip

If you have never visited the Johnstown, Pa., Flood Museum, it’s well worth the one-tank trip. Housed in the former public library building in downtown Johnstown, the museum tells the story of the devastating loss of life and property in the 1889 flood, known as one of the greatest natural ...

Leaders need passion to unite, words to calm

Today, as Americans remain partisan and divided, it’s hard to envision the possibility that words from a leader could actually unite us. Sadly, these days, even inspirational words can serve to divide Americans. Undoubtedly, many might have been inspired by the words spoken Feb. 28 by ...

Journalists take role as ‘witnesses’ seriously

“Fake news!” are the cries journalists hear these days more than most prefer to admit. It’s unfortunate and disheartening because in my more than 25 years in this business, I can think of not one journalist I knew personally who ever intentionally attempted to steer a story in any ...

Mahoning Valley roads lead to … Mars?

“All roads lead to the Mahoning Valley.” You might remember I wrote about that little expression we commonly tout in our newsroom because, well, they just do. Over and over again, it seems that we read national or even international stories on The Associated Press wire only later to find ...

Hiding with speed camera ‘not police work’

I had a conversation with a reader recently who called my office to discuss a government issue that’s been bothering him. Readers often call our newsroom to vent, sometimes because they know — based on the position we have taken on our opinion page — that they are in friendly territory ...

When country music pride turned to shame

Pride — in our nation, in our hometown, in our service men and women, or even in our family — has long been the recurring theme in country music. And while love of America and your hometown — not to mention your dog or your pickup truck or your favorite fishing hole — are good and ...

Superfan goes to Super Bowl and to HOF

Who seriously ever gets to go to the Super Bowl? Sure, we all know people who have had really rare and cool sporting event experiences. Court seats at an NBA basketball game. Attendance at a college football championship game. Tickets to Game 7 of the World Series. Heck, the Steelers have ...

Late Christmas cards are least worrisome

The metered cost to mail a 1 oz. letter went up a penny this month. Good thing. Maybe the U.S. Postal Service will put the extra money to good use getting the mail delivered on time. Seriously, this is not a matter to joke about. Repeated and outrageous delays in mail delivery are ...

Woman VP has been a long time coming

We have started down an incredible new path in history. Yes, given the events of the last four years, that statement is a no brainer. But I’m not speaking just about the presidential flip from Republican to Democrat, or from conservative to liberal, or even from unorthodox to traditional. ...

It’s time our children get back to school

I don’t always agree with our governor, but on at least one very important issue, I do. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and I are in complete agreement that kids need to get back to school. I say this just as my son, a senior in high school, is pressing me and my husband to allow him to change his ...

Riot in DC reaches way beyond just politics

Five people have now died after pro-Trump protests in Washington turned violent Wednesday and hundreds, perhaps thousands, poured unbridled into the U.S. Capitol building, overpowering the thin police line. By now, we’ve all seen the shocking video footage and photographs. Since then, ...

Court ruling stresses government openness

While America and individual states have varying levels of laws guiding openness of government, laws that have changed through the years reflective of high court rulings and legislation, most government officials understand the critical importance of public access to the workings of government. ...

We’d like to forget, but COVID-19 is part of history

I saw an editorial cartoon last week that was set in the year 2120. A child seated in a floating desk chair in history class asks his teacher why all the textbooks skip the year 2020. The boy’s robot teacher responded, “Historians are still trying to sort that one out, dear.” Yep, ...