Often the solution to a problem begins with a conversation.
Of the many purposes a daily newspaper performs, getting the conversation started is one role we hold dear.
Sometimes, that conversation is sparked by an news story or an opinion piece. In other cases, it begins when a reader is inspired to address a topic that has yet to be discussed.
No matter the circumstance, when those conversations happen, our community is strengthened.
The conversations we speak of are Letters to the Editor. Although the world has changed and the way we communicate with one another is far different than an earlier era – online comments on news sites and social media exchanges have exploded in popularity – the simple, time-honored expression of an idea, plainly expressed and printed in the daily newspaper, remains a powerful way to engage a community, address shared issues and prompt action.
We often find that the news and opinions that originate in the newspaper only gain real traction when it is taken up by a reader who shares his opinion, experience and observations through a Letter to the Editor.
When a reader takes the time to share his or her observations on topics of community concern – Letters to the Editor is not intended to be a place to air personal grievances – other readers join the conversation as well.
It is our belief that readers often underestimate the power they hold. Elected officials take notice when citizens speak. We have seen this time and again.
Ours is a diverse community, not only in terms of demographics, but in terms of attitudes, opinions, backgrounds and experience. As much as we would like, no newspaper staff can represent so many diverse points of view.
Only our readers can do that.
Consider this an open invitation. We want to hear from you and share your views with others.
Let’s have a conversation.
The Dispatch Editorial Board is made up of publisher Peter Imes, columnist Slim Smith, managing editor Zack Plair and senior newsroom staff.