Excelsior Citizen Introduces Letters to the Editor

Man's hands writing a letter

Excelsior Citizen is excited to announce a significant change in how we engage with our community. In response to our recent survey, we’re introducing a new section: Letters to the Editor. This platform will provide a space for you, our valued readers, to voice your opinions, concerns, and insights on local and broader issues.

As we embrace this change, it’s crucial to establish clear rules to ensure respectful and constructive dialogue. The guidelines for submitting letters will be detailed on our website, covering aspects like relevance, length, originality, and civility.

A critical aspect of this new feature is the question of anonymity. On our Facebook group, we’ve observed a trend of anonymous postings, especially on sensitive topics like child custody or poverty. Anonymity can offer a safe space for individuals to share without fear of judgment or negative repercussions. As moderators, we review each post and its author before acceptance, ensuring the content aligns with our community standards.

However, we understand that anonymity can be a double-edged sword. Some community members have expressed discomfort with anonymous posts, preferring transparency about who they’re engaging with. This feedback is invaluable and has guided us in shaping our policy for Letters to the Editor.

Here’s a list of rules that we have put in place to better serve the community responsibly:

Relevance: Letters must be relevant to recent articles, editorials, or issues covered by the publication.

Length and Clarity: Letters should be concise, ideally not exceeding 250-300 words. They must be clear, well-argued, and easy to understand.

Originality: The letter must be original and not previously published in any other publication.

Identification: Writers must provide their full name, address, and contact information for verification purposes. Only the name and city will be published.

No Anonymity: Anonymous letters will not be accepted. Pseudonyms may be used only in exceptional circumstances, subject to the editor’s discretion.

Language and Civility: Letters must be written in respectful and civil language. No hate speech, libel, or offensive language will be tolerated.

No Commercial Promotion: Letters should not serve as a platform for personal promotion or advertising.

Editing Rights: The editorial team reserves the right to edit letters for clarity, length, and adherence to style guidelines. Major changes will be communicated to the author.

Submission Frequency: Individuals are limited to one published letter per month to ensure diverse participation from the community.

Discretion in Publishing: Submission does not guarantee publication. The editorial team will decide which letters are published based on relevance, space, and diversity of opinion.

Right to Reply: Priority may be given to letters that respond directly to previous content, particularly if they offer a contrasting viewpoint.

Legal Compliance: Letters must comply with legal standards, avoiding defamatory content, plagiarism, and infringement on others’ rights.

Timeliness: Letters should be submitted within a reasonable timeframe following the publication of the article or event being discussed.

Electronic Submission: Preferably, letters should be submitted via email or a designated online platform for efficiency and ease of processing.

Confirmation of Receipt: While every letter cannot be individually acknowledged, the publication may send an automated confirmation of receipt.

We aim to foster a constructive and diverse dialogue among readers while maintaining the publication’s integrity and standards with these guidelines.

If you appreciate the value our local journalism brings to the community, please consider making a recurring contribution to the Excelsior Citizen!

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