I SHOULD DEVOTE THIS space to introducing our series "The Crossroads," which launches this week with a major overview of Tucson's transportation issues. Between now and the end of October, reporters Jim Nintzel and Dave Devine will toil over at least 15 articles large and small, examining in detail the many transportation issues that affect you, whether you drive, bike, or just stay home and pay taxes.

That's what I should be writing about, but instead I'll pause to teach you the 30-second version of Journalism 101.

Judging from some of the reactions to Margaret Regan's "Downtown Downturn" (June 28), some of you folks are naïve about the role of newspapers. By covering certain issues and quoting certain sources, we are not necessarily endorsing those issues and statements. We are reporting the news.

Some of you have complained that we're not being "supportive" or "constructive" in covering the conflicting visions of the downtown and pointing out that the place is currently a mess (count the empty buildings, and try telling me otherwise). Well, we're reporters, not boosters, and we're here to examine all sides of an argument.

If you don't like what some people have to say about downtown, take it up with them. If you think Tucsonans should pull together to save the area, then get to work on a specific project. Don't whine that the Tucson Weekly refuses to sugarcoat this issue. You wouldn't expect us to take a Pollyanna approach to politics and the environment, would you? Why should we put on our blinders for downtown?

--James Reel, Editor

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