There’s been a wee bit of confusion of late on the letters and viewpoints seen here, so it may be time for a reminder on what’s fit to print on our Opinion page.
First off, the Review welcomes a diversity of voices on our Opinion page, and we are grateful for the letters that we get from readers. Thanks to all our readers for their contributions over the years.
Unfortunately, we have space limitations in our print edition, so we have a letters policy that limits the length and frequency of letters to the editor. We generally limit writers to 300 to 350 words — we publish most of those longer letters online — and also ask writers to wait a month before sending in another letter if they’ve just had one published.
We also discourage form letters, or letters from writers far outside our area who are not writing about local issues.
The purpose of the Opinion page is to foster debate, conversation and reflective thought. We don’t screen the letters we receive or publish only the views that we personally agree with, but we do ask writers to keep a respectful tone and stay focused on addressing the issue at hand, and refrain from personal attacks.
Many times, a letter will prompt a response from another reader. That’s great, but we sometimes have to remind writers that when they start a conversation by submitting a letter, they shouldn’t expect an opportunity to pen a response to everyone who disagrees with them. If we allowed response-to-response letters, our Opinion page would be dominated by fewer voices repeating the same points and issues they had raised in previous editions, and there would be no room for new writers addressing new topics.
We realize it can be tough for some people to not get the last word on a topic, but we also remind people they can continue to keep the conversation going about a particular topic or letter by visiting our website at www.bainbridgereview.com and chiming in on the comment section after each letter.
It’s a balancing act to make sure each edition reflects a diversity of opinions and viewpoints, and we understand that not every reader will appreciate the letters that are chosen for publication.
That said, we remain grateful to the readers who have the courage to share their viewpoints, however controversial, with our readers. It makes our Opinion pages one of the best-read sections of the newspaper.