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Not the way to escape heat
August 2, 2011 - Jim Smith
All those letter-to-the-editor writers who had planned or are intending on forwarding a form letter to The News and Sentinel in support of a local public entity that has been in the news of late can save their time.
The News and Sentinel does not knowingly publish form letters. Yes, occasionally one might mistakenly slip through, but it certainly is our intention not to publish them since they are not original thoughts, views or opinions of the sender.
In fact, I find it very discouraging when an entity -- public or private -- attempts to channel public opinion via a letter-writing campaign by means of a supplied form letter.
Letters to the editor are an opportunity for the average citizen to express a view on an issue of general public concern. For a publicly financed entity to supply a form letter and encourage supporters to send that letter leaves me displeased with the entity and left questioning any letter received in support of that entity.
If individuals wish to express their views, The News and Sentinel will continue to publish them, but we do not publish the opinions of any public body expressed in a form letter sent by supporters.
The public entity in question has been taking a lot of heat of late. Encouraging letters to the editor and supplying the desired message is not the way to escape that heat.
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