i Editor's Letter: Making choices on what stories matter


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The Independent Online


The "deliberate" depressing of A-level results, Tony Nicklinson's right to die, Julian Assange seeking asylum in Ecuador to avoid extradition on sex charges. Your views of these three stories alone from today's paper would fill our letters page many times over.

I chose these stories because I know i readers have strong views on both sides of these arguments. They are quite unlike whether or not you have sympathy for ex-News of the World executives on phone-hacking charges (no), or should Kevin Pietersen have been dropped (yes) – subjects on which your views are not split.

I secretly wonder at people who are so sure of their opinions on complex, important issues. My job, by definition, involves making choices on what (in the opinion of i's newsdesk and me) matters and if it matters more than the story below or above it. I am usually confident of the merit of the story itself, but often have private doubts as to my view of its rights and wrongs.

So, I think it is right that the endless inflation of A-level grades is rectified, but feel for this academic year that must suffer the first toughening up of the rules. I agree Julian Assange should be extradited to face questioning on allegations of sexual assault, but do not believe we should invade an embassy to grab him. I can only sympathise with Tony Nicklinson, but am not at all sure it's possible to allow him to die, and at the same time protect other potentially more vulnerable people. What about you?

Perhaps i should steal an idea from BBC Radio 4, and have a daily "Moral Maze" column? We would not be short of material.