It seems that the more letters we print this summer, the more we receive the following week. For now, we are continuing our policy of printing as many letters as we can, provided they are, in broad terms, fact-based, congenial and respectful. We certainly don’t welcome or allow letters that are slanderous or would qualify as lashon hara (evil speech). We also don’t welcome letters that leave out relevant facts or promote deceit of any kind, but we do welcome all opinions, even ones that might be politically incorrect or unpopular.
Our back-and-forth messages with letter writers, which go on behind the scenes each and every week, seek to ensure that each person is who they say they are, and that any “name withheld” letters are not simply submitted as “poison pen” missives, but are rather a means to communicate an important argument that a writer feels, for one reason or another, that he or she cannot sign. We discuss the reasons with the would-be anonymous letter writer if they have not shared their reasoning for withholding their name, and we either accept the reason and agree to withhold the name, or we decline to run the letter. Name withheld letters are often very insightful, but we understand that they can be distressing or irritating to our readers, and therefore we try to minimize them or encourage writers to rejigger their thoughts in a way in which they feel they can sign their name.
We hope our readers value our community submissions as we do, and find them interesting and relevant. One caveat to clarify: letters to the editor do not function like social media posts. We require our writers to back up their opinions with facts and we push back against all of them when they make statements that are overtly reaching or otherwise unprovable. We are not perfect, but on this we try to be consistent.
Please continue to send your thoughts to [email protected].