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Letters to the Editor should be G-rated

This page is dedicated to opinions. Some writers hope to persuade, others want to proclaim their support or thoughts.

Over more than 150 years, the Butler Eagle has given voice to its readers, experts, public figures, educators and more on its editorial page. News events or momentous occasions often spark conversations among writers.

We expect the coming 2024 Presidential Election on Nov. 4 to be no different.

But what has changed is the way many writers choose to express themselves. The name-calling, vilification of neighbors who have a different opinion or belong to a different political party, or personal attacks on public figures or those who serve has crossed the line of courtesy and productive debate.

Over the past four years, we’ve had to squelch some letters that were just plain mean.

As with any forum, there are rules and guidelines for Letters to the Editor. Responsible and courteous debate begins by making your point — focus on what you like or don’t like about a program or policy. Write about what you support about your candidate, their strong points or how their policies differ from their opponent.

Saying “in my opinion” makes it clear the writer is presenting just that — an opinion. If it is presented as a fact, we must verify it.

As explained in the Write to Us box, writers are limited to one letter a month and it must be 250 words or less. Letters — just like every other article or column in this newspaper — are edited. We have that responsibility to our readers.

The editorial page is not the place for hateful attacks that only offer anger and outrage. We are not sure that any forum really is.

While we expect some controversy, letter writers who do not express themselves in a constructive manner will not be published.

The Letters to the Editor space is intended to be where writers and readers can expect a healthy exchange of ideas and opinions in their community newspaper, meeting community standards.

We hope to hear yours.


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