I’ve asked the Lee-owned paper’s editor and publisher about this admission.
UPDATE: Times-News and Magicvalley.com editor Autumn Agar says publisher John Pfeifer wrote the editorial. She tells Romenesko readers:
I didn’t see the line as an “admission” or a slam against the newsroom. I saw it as another reminder that we have a publisher who both supports and challenges the newsroom.
Was there some soul searching in that line? Sure. Was he lifting the veil on a question we ask ourselves every day? Yes.
As journalists, we should always be examining what we do and why we make decisions. And if we make decisions for the wrong reasons, it should haunt us.
Do we have backbone?
If you’re not asking yourself that question, you are either blinded by your own bravado or you’ve been co-opted a long time ago and you’re not making hard decisions anymore. I don’t think we should be ashamed to ask that question about ourselves in front of our readers.
I hope your readers take time to read the entire editorial, not just the line you pulled out for your blog. It’s an interesting topic.