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Sarah Gassen: Making changes in Star Opinion

Sarah Gassen: Making changes in Star Opinion

The following is the opinion and analysis of the writer:

I greet you today with news of several changes in the Arizona Daily Star Opinion universe.

I’d say Opinion world, but then I hear the ominously deep movie-trailer-announcer-guy’s voice: “In a worrrlllld…” followed by mayhem, stomped-on cities, marauding sharks/insects/aliens and a love twist thrown in for the ladies.

No rampaging here.

Edward Celaya, who two years ago joined the Opinion team after graduating the University of Arizona School of Journalism, is leaving the Star Editorial Board but isn’t going far: He’s covering the local marijuana scene — a new beat for the Star — and will join the Star’s breaking news team with on-the-spot reports around Tucson.

While I’m sorry to see him leave Opinion, I’m thrilled for him to build the marijuana beat from scratch and put his video skills and infectious energy toward covering news. His work will appear in the Star proper, and its sister site, This Is Tucson.

Opinion Coordinator Sara Brown will continue handling our letters to the editor and has taken over producing our weekly Zoom reader chats and videos. Fitz is still being Fitz, an opinionated explosion of cartooning and columns.

You may have noticed that the Star’s look has morphed recently. The pages are now being put together, digitally speaking, by designers who serve multiple Lee Enterprises properties so the Star has adopted their type style, headline size and the like. It’s a work in progress, and you may notice other changes, including Eddie’s name coming off the Opinion page masthead.

Local submissions of guest opinion pieces and letters to the editor are the heart of the Star Opinion pages. We’re redoubling our fact-checking efforts and if you’ve submitted recently you may have gotten a note back asking for links to verify what you state as fact. Please include links in the “notes” field and they don’t count toward your word count.

We are now asking for guest opinion submissions in two length ranges to better fit our new page layout: between 440-460 words or 620-650 words. Letters to the editor remain at 160 words. Submit at

Eddie stepping off the Editorial Board and doing news reporting means he will no longer have any input on what positions the Editorial Board takes on issues or what candidates or ballot measures it endorses.

President and Publisher John D’Orlando, top newsroom leader Editor Jill Jorden Spitz and I will remain as the Editorial Board. We’re examining how other news outlets have broadened their editorial boards to better include their communities. If you’ve seen something work elsewhere or have a suggestion, please let me know at

Thank you, as always, for being part of the Star Opinion conversation.

Sarah Garrecht Gassen is the Star’s Opinion editor and columnist. Email her at

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