Terry Smith

Terry Smith

Terry Smith in May 2020 left The Athens NEWS in Athens, Ohio, after editing that award-winning publication for 34 years. His columns and editorials have placed first in the Ohio News Media Association’s annual weekly newspaper awards in recent years. Before returning to Athens and his alma mater, Ohio University, in 1986, Smith reported for newspapers in Ohio, Arizona, Idaho, Colorado and West Virginia. He is currently freelance editing and writing from his home in Athens.


Don’t let Ohio GOP lawmakers hamstring efforts to protect people from latest COVID surge

By: - September 9, 2021

Many of our expectations and assumptions about politics have been upended over the past five years. But nothing is quite as disturbing as the Republican Party’s ongoing war against local efforts to protect community members — including children — from the deadly and costly effects of a still-raging pandemic. In Ohio, this is manifested in […]


Where, oh where have the old-school conservatives gone?

By: - August 10, 2021

In an exceedingly weird dream the other night, I became a conservative. Small “c” old-school conservative, the guy who distrusts rapid change, reveres custom and tradition, and fears anything that threatens to erode the foundations of government and society. As that newly minted conservative, I beheld with alarm and chagrin what had become of politics […]


Pandemic restrictions do have a World War II parallel — self-denial in pursuit of victory

By: - April 20, 2021

In 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt imposed a multitude of economic restrictions on the American public and businesses, actions that would be instrumental in helping America and her allies defeat Nazi Germany and Japan. We won that war but not until it had extinguished the lives of 405,399 American service members. Seventy-nine years later, a […]


Don’t entrust pandemic response to lawmakers who aren’t taking it seriously

By: - February 9, 2021

Snowflakes, misinformation, conspiracy theories, serial abuse of constitutional theory — all were on depressing display last week in an Ohio Senate committee hearing on a recently introduced bill that would allow state lawmakers to strike down executive or emergency health orders issued by the governor. The Feb. 3 public hearing on S.B. 22 featured many […]


Ohio lawmakers who lied for Trump ought to be held accountable

By: - January 13, 2021

We’ve been hearing a lot about accountability since the Trump-incited insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Who’s at fault for this historic attack on American democracy, and how can they be held responsible? Most of us know who deserves the central blame. In an ABC News/Ipsos poll released on Sunday, 67 percent of […]


In Ohio and elsewhere, Dems need better messaging on fracking, police, other issues

By: - November 19, 2020

Tax the rich! Defund the police! Ban fracking! This is the sort of policy sloganeering voiced by factions within the Democratic Party during the recent presidential election campaign in Ohio and elsewhere. While all are based at least in part on worthy policy goals, post-election analysis suggests that President Trump and GOP strategists exploited that […]


Civic society suffers when one party bypasses the public

By: - October 28, 2020

What would you think about a candidate for public office who thought so little of the democratic process that he or she refused to respond to a nonpartisan voter survey, or ignored invitations to participate in a public candidate forum, with both programs hosted by a respected good-government group? This election cycle in Ohio, many […]


Donald Trump and Bill Clinton: Whose negligence was worse?

By: - October 6, 2020

We have to go back to President Bill Clinton to find another example of gross presidential irresponsibility that comes within 100 miles of the negligence displayed by President Trump about the coronavirus, both personally and as our national leader. This came into sharp focus this past week after he, the first lady, and a number […]


Join me in singing the ‘Boring (and Infuriating) Pandemic Blues’

By: - September 17, 2020

I’m bored. Nearly seven months into my one and only pandemic, I’m totally over it. This vile, deadly germ. It’s thrown a blanket over life in this country and world, and killed nearly 200,000 in the U.S. Wholly politicized in this country (no surprise there), it doesn’t appear to be going anyplace soon. Maybe not […]

Hey, look, a pandemic positive! Neighborhoods emerge as vital social oases

By: - September 1, 2020

If one is rooting around for a positive about the ongoing pandemic, anecdotal evidence suggests that neighborhoods may be just what the doctor ordered. Face it. Most of us have only limited time and tolerance for in-person contact with our fellow human beings. Pre-pandemic, what with working all day, visiting friends, going shopping, going out, […]


Should anyone be surprised by Householder’s downfall?

By: - August 11, 2020

Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder’s dramatic tumble from power last month shouldn’t have come as a surprise to anyone who has followed his career since 1996 when he was first elected to represent southeast Ohio’s 78th House District. As editor of The Athens NEWS, an alternative/community newsweekly in Athens, Ohio, I was uniquely situated to […]