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The Casper Star-Tribune editorial board has agreed upon a set of overarching goals that will guide our philosophy for the year to come. Our intention in outlining a set of primary goals is to hold ourselves accountable to our central values, and to allow our readers to also hold us accountable to the goals we have set. Not all of our readers may agree with the positions we take as a board, but our hope is that by outlining these goals, readers can understand the governing philosophy that guides those positions.

The editorial board uses its platform to cover issues that are relevant and important to Wyoming residents from all walks of life. The mission of our editorials is to promote the ideals that we hold and that form the foundation upon which our opinion as a board is built. Those ideals are central to every editorial we publish.

First, we aim to promote government transparency and openness. Democracy depends upon transparency in government. Without it, public trust in our institutions erodes. If any agency, government body or public official is acting without the appearance of transparency, and if the people of Wyoming may come to suffer for it, we will editorialize on behalf of more transparency by that agency or person.

Second, we believe that in order for Wyoming to flourish, the state must diversify its economy and adjust its tax structure in order to reduce its dependency on fossil fuels and foster positive growth in Wyoming communities. The boom and bust cycle is, and will continue to be, detrimental to our economic success. Economic diversification is crucial for the future of our great state. Our editorials will aim to foster conversation about reasonable solutions to our dependency on fossil fuel extraction.

Third, we endeavor to always give a voice to the voiceless. We will stand up in defense of those whose individual liberties have been trampled by industry, government or any other institution. We will defend the oppressed, the forgotten, the underrepresented minority.

Finally, this board will engage in and promote dialogue that is civil. In recent years, there has been a troubling coarsening of popular discourse. Polarization and divisiveness have eroded civility in the national conversation. We believe Wyoming can do better. We will hold ourselves to a higher standard and always encourage others to do the same.

These goals will guide us in every decision we make as an editorial board. They are part of larger effort to become more transparent ourselves. We hope our readers will always seek to engage and challenge us. We welcome civil debate. And we encourage suggestions; after all, we are only a small sample of the community we seek to represent.

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