Write to your editor
Published 8:07 pm Monday, June 28, 2004
Write to your editor. With every issue the Atmore Advance publishes a notice regarding letters to the editor.
The first line of that notice always reads that letters to the editor are "solicited and encouraged," and we mean it.
The Advance's opinion page is just that- a place for opinion and debate, for taking up sides and voicing concerns.
And we would like to see more letters from our readers.
Sometimes there is some confusion over what, exactly will be printed in the opinion page and what kind of letters will be published.
Letters to the editor don't have to take a certain position. While we reserve the right to refuse any submission, that doesn't mean a letter has to agree with the paper's position on any particular issue.
Not everyone sees things the same way, and we would be remiss at best if we refused to allow differing points of view on the opinion page of the Advance. In fact, if you disagree with a position taken in a column or the paper's editorial called "Our View," we encourage you to write us and share your opinion with our readers.
We try to be as open as possible with our letters policy in order to encourage public discourse. We may not agree with what you have to say, but that won't keep us from publishing your letter.
However, this doesn't mean we will publish simply every letter that comes to us. Letters that we consider slanderous or libelous will not be published. Dropping the technical terms for a moment, that generally means that we will not print letters accusing individuals of wrongdoing or letters intended to harm someone's public character or name. There are other instances when a letter won't be published – usually determined on a case-by-case basis, but we don't have enough space here to detail every possible instance.
We do reserve the right to edit a letter for length or style, but we will not attempt to change the letter's intent or message. With the letters we have published recently, there has been virtually no editing, save for some spelling and grammar. So as long as the letter is of reasonable length and is clearly written, chances are good that it may be published in full.
We ask that you keep your letter to 300 words and your letter must be signed and include contact information. Your contact information will not be published with the letter, but your name will. Part of voicing your opinion publicly is having the courage to stand by what you say.
We encourage your letters and we will make every effort to publish as many as we receive. Take advantage of the opinion page. It's the place where you can have your say.