Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Letters & Comments at The HeraldTrib

Letters policy...

I welcome emails-to-the-editor (I love to get them) as well as comments posted to stories or letters.

I assume that any email that deals with news or issues of the day is meant for posting to the site, unless I am told otherwise. I will only post letters with full names (and I have to be sure that the email address it came from is owned/controlled by the person at the bottom of the letter).

I will edit letters as little as possible.

I value your opinions whether or not they match my own. I will never edit the meaning of your letter.

I may edit for length, but the great thing about the ‘Net is the infinite size of memory and space. If needed, I will edit for clarity, while staying true to your ideas, for spelling, for punctuation and for AP style (i.e.: “I walked on Pershing Dr.” will be changed to “I walked on Pershing Drive”).

I will not publish libelous items, and will remove personal information not necessary to the content (i.e.: your email address, your phone, the question you asked as an aside).

Comments policy...

Comments can be added to any story simply by clicking on the “Post a Comment” link at the bottom of the story. Anyone can do it, and I look forward to them. Unlike letters, however, comments can be anonymous, and I will not edit them.

As with letters, comments that I disagree with will not be edited or removed.

That said, I might, just might, remove comments when needed. Libelous comments will be removed the instant I see them. Comments that unnecessarily attack the writer, not the writer’s ideas, will be removed.

I am bringing this up because...

I do not always agree with what Patè McCollough says, but I respect the fact that she takes the time to write to me, that she is willing to have her ideas posted, and that she is willing to put her name to her ideas. She takes the same risks I take when I put my opinions out there, and I respect her for that. The same goes for Nancy Bukar who wrote a letter that she knew would cause her some grief, yet she took the chance anyway.

Last week, Ms. McCollough wrote a letter that received an anonymous comment. It was mean-spirited, and I thought of pulling the comment. In the end I left it since I did not think it was quite bad enough. I cannot tell you how much happier I would have been had the writer had the same guts as Ms. McCollough. I know that at times anonymity is necessary, but I think it gets used too much.

--Steve Thurston, writer/editor of The Buckingham HearldTribblog.

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Steve, I left the comment on the other posting. I apologize if you thought if was mean spirited; I did not intend it to be. But this whole topic is so toxic in Arlington that very few people will take the conservative side publicly, myself included.f

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