Over the course of a year, The News and Sentinel receives thousands of letters to the editor, printing those that fall within the daily published guidelines for submitting a letter.
The guidelines are relatively simple and straightforward:
The Parkersburg News and Sentinel welcomes letters to the editor of general public interest.
To be considered for publications, letters must be no longer than 400 words and must contain the writer's complete name, address and phone number. The address and telephone number will not be published but is required for verification before publication.
All letters should be written to the editor, and not to a third party. The newspaper reserves the right to edit letters for length and content. No thank-you letters, multiple-signature letters or letters concerning personal disputes between individuals or businesses will be published. Writers are ask to limit their submissions to one a month.
The letters to the editor section on the opinion pages of the newspaper are clearly intended for the public to express their views on issues of the day. It is the public's vehicle by which to share their opinion on issues that affect them, the city, the county, the nation or society in general.
Letters to the editor give balance to the opinions in the newspaper's editorials and/or the opinions of syndicated and local columnists.
Letters to the editor are the last venue for the average person who otherwise would not have a widespread platform to disseminate their opinions.
The News and Sentinel publishes the letters without supporting or agreeing with the content, merely verifying the identified writer actually submitted the letter. The newspaper does not verify the accuracy of the letter's content since in essence that could infringe upon the writer's opinion.
To all those who submit letters to the editor, thank you for your comments and views. Your letters add to the public voice of The News and Sentinel.
The News and Sentinel website is one of the most active in the Mid-Ohio Valley with hundreds of thousands of users a month.
As an example, as of Dec. 26 there were 871 pages on the newspaper website, 135 categories, 59,935 news stories, 1,116 blogs, 193,135 comments, 2,774 comments reported as abusive, 15,738 members and two daily polls.
That's a lot of comments and users ... and a lot of community interaction via comments, as well as those posting in favor and opposed to comments.
Sometimes even the governor's mail can't get delivered on time.
I received a very nice Christmas card from West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and his family ... the day after Christmas. The card appeared to have been mailed within a reasonable amount of time to be delivered before Christmas, but apparently the governor's office doesn't get any preference with the U.S. Postal Service.
Some days even the governor can't win.
Contact Jim Smith at email@example.com