News Views: Hear this

The letters page is, if nothing else, a platform on which to be heard.

Writing a letter to the editor is as old as newspapers themselves.

Getting one published, though, isn’t automatic.

They don’t all get printed, for various reasons.

Some are form letters.

Some make offensive or inaccurate claims.

Some are libelous.

Some are anonymous, or have false names.

Some make no sense.

Some might be too long and need to be trimmed to fit, or hold until there is enough space.

Sometimes the issues being discussed are complex and are better presented in a news story, to provide balance and context.

And some papers, such as this one, have policies regarding letters and opinion pieces during or close to elections.

We don’t run letters from incumbent or prospective candidates in the calendar year leading up to election campaigns.

We do this, as best we can, to preserve the space on the letters page for discussion among constituents.

It is not meant as a platform for campaigning.

And if we ran one letter from an incumbent or candidate, we’d have to run them all.

If a candidate or current politician wants to share or discuss a pertinent local issue during this time, he or she should raise it at a public meeting. Or talk with a journalist, to have their view presented in a fair and accurate manner.

If readers want to submit a letter to the editor, they will be held to a standard of decency, but given license for opinion.

The letters page is, if nothing else, a platform on which to be heard, to engage with other caring members of the community, to further the discussion or convey emotion. It is not for personal attacks, or, honestly, to say thanks.

If you want to be published, be current, raise a new point, and keep it short.

Letters are a valued form of democracy.

We want to hear from you.

– Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News

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