For me, it feels like right now people are edgy. More than ever before.
And, the upcoming general election doesn’t help matters. November 3 can’t get here fast enough.
With that said, the Fillmore County Journal has taken it upon ourselves to expect more of those submitting Letters to the Editor or guest commentaries.
We are getting back to English 101. When making your argument, please cite your sources. They will make your efforts and our job easier, which should make everyone happier.
It doesn’t mean we will publish website links to your sources with your writing contribution, unless you make that request. We just need to see that you have substantiated claims in your commentary.
We don’t have the time or human resources to police every opinion piece coming our way, as some people might expect. Most newspapers don’t have that capacity. We handle so much content any given week that we need our opinion writers to do their due diligence when making their arguments known on the Commentary pages of this newspaper.
I don’t think it is an unreasonable expectation of those who want to sway the masses with their opinions.
In recent weeks, when we have received commentary pieces, we have challenged commentary writers to cite their sources. For some of those writers, we’ve held their piece for two or three weeks until they backed up their statements with sources. It doesn’t matter if you aim left, right or center with your politics. We expect this of everyone.
This doesn’t mean that something won’t slip through the cracks with this process. And, if something questionable does make it through the process, we are confident our readers will be paying attention.
The other issue we will undoubtedly run into is whether a source is a credible. That issue lies in the eye of the beholder. Some people discount CNN while others loathe Fox News. We realize we can’t make everyone happy. That’s not our job, and it would be impossible. We provide a forum in the Commentary section of this newspaper for locals to express their opinions on various topics.
And, for those wishing to express their opinions in writing, here is a reminder of the guidelines. Contributors can only submit an opinion piece once every 30 days. A Letter to the Editor is 300 words or less. A Guest Commentary is between 301 and 700 words, and require a photo of the author. Both require your name and city of residence to be printed with your letter.
Between July 1 and Election Day in November, no candidates can submit an opinion piece.