Providing a public forum

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Opinion Page of The Times-Journal has often been referred to as “one of the most read pages of the newspaper.”

Reasoning behind such reaction stems in large part to “letters to the editor” that are submitted by the readers of this newspaper.

Those submissions come from subscribers whom are young and old, customers for 50 years and individuals who perhaps picked up a newspaper out of a rack for the first time. Both are often the authors of these opinion pieces and with those pieces come very real feelings and emotions.

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When added to the fuel of citizen journalism, the commentary provided by the likes of Ann Coulter, Cynthia Tucker, Bill Steigerwald and others, provides what is meant to be a fair and balanced opinion page where sides from the left and the right are found in print every edition, six days a week.

Whatever the reason, editorial pages are many times a must read, whether in our publication or others. In attempting to continue that trend, it is important to reflect on the established guidelines that have contributed to this page becoming a fan favorite.

Although, not always followed, this Opinion Page does have guidelines, which you will always find at the bottom left hand of the page for reference. Those guidelines are as follow:

Stick to the issues in the letter, avoid personal attacks.

Libelous statements and inappropriate language will not be accepted.

Letters should not be longer than 400 words.

Submissions should be limited to no more than one a month.

All submissions must be signed by the writer and include a telephone number and address for verification of authorship.

Most importantly, the newspaper reserves the right to edit submissions as well as the right to not publish a letter. There will be a conscious effort to enforce the above guidelines going forward.

This newspaper is glad to provide a forum for debate, for the public to exchange ideas and opinions.

We welcome your opinion – tell us what you think.