By HDN staff
While an editorial about editorials may seem redundant, we wanted to clear up a few misconceptions about our editorials and our editorial policy.
But enough editorializing lets get to the point.
The opinion page of the paper offers just that opinions. The editorial, the letters to the editor, the columns, the cartoons all of these are the opinions of the author (or artist).
The Havre Daily News established an expanded editorial board several months ago four permanent members and one revolving position. The names of the board members Harvey Brock, Boots Gifford, Martin Kidston, Ron VandenBoom, and David Brewer are printed each week on the editorial page. It is the charge of this board to develop the editorials that run on the opinion page on Tuesdays and Fridays.
So, each Monday we meet and go over ideas for the editorials. We always calmly (yeah, right) discuss our opinions regarding the subject until we all agree (sure, you bet) on a point-of-view.
In reality, we are five very distinct people with five varied points-of-view. We all bring different topics to the table. We hash out our opinions, sometimes fervently, regarding the subjects until we come to a consensus about the opinion we will write. Once we have constructed this outline, then the writing begins.
The job of actually putting pen to paper or more accurately, keystrokes to computer screen falls to one member of the board. The author varies, usually depending on who has the most background on the subject at hand. But the editorial opinion and let us reiterate, opinion is the work of the board, not one individual.
The purpose of the editorial is to stimulate discussion. The opinion again, opinion of the board is subject to scrutiny. We hope people will agree or disagree, but mostly we hope they will take a stand and make their voices heard.
Thus the birth of letters to the editor.
Letters to the editor are the opinion again, opinion of the letter-writer and only the writer. Whether pro or con, the Daily News prints these letters to share with the readers. We do not edit the content of letters. We do not withhold letters because of a difference of opinion with the paper. If there is a problem regarding slander or libel or length the writer is contacted and the situation is explained.
Because of limited space, we request letters be 300 words or less. Because of limited space, we give preference to local letters over out-of-area mass mailings. Because of limited space, we restrict writers to one letter every 30 days.
We do not print photocopied letters without original signatures. E-mailed or faxed letters must be confirmed by phone.
And we will, at absolutely no time, print an anonymous letter.
We encourage the public to speak out agree with us, disagree with us, address your own issues.
The backbone of our democracy is the freedom to hold our own opinions and voice them.
So, show some backbone.