Andrea Rondeau column: Flood of letters to the editor

Some newspapers struggle to get people to send in letters to the editor.

One of my favourite parts of the paper is the letters to the editor section.

We’re really lucky here at the Citizen. Some newspapers struggle to get people to send in letters to the editor. That is decidedly not a problem we face, except on rare occasions (usually around holidays, when people are thinking about other things unless something particularly contentious has happened). In fact, I get so many letters to the editor that my issue is trying to squeeze as many of them into the print edition as I can.

All of our letters are published online, but I’ve heard from numerous readers, and letter writers, that they like to see them in print hardcopy. So I do my best to get as many voices out there as possible.

Lately it’s been even more of a challenge. With the election coming up — always a time when people want to express their opinions, support or non-support — and with the climate action strikes happening in Cowichan and across the country and the world more people than ever have written in. So basically this is a plea for patience, and for all the letter writers out there not to get discouraged and stop sending in your thoughts. I value them all. It’s just that time and space really are finite. I’m pretty sure that right now, I could fill an entire edition with only letters to the editor.

As always, some are kind of on the long side and I’m doing my best to get them in, but if you’d like to have a better chance try to be concise. Also, if you start the infantile name calling (this particularly applies to attacks on candidates for office) I will either ignore your letter or edit it out. Impassioned is great. Critical is good. Disrespectful and childish is a no-go. Please make my job easier. I’m more lenient in what I will allow you to say in critique of a national or public figure than what I will allow said of a fellow letter-writer. Try to attack ideas, not people.

While climate action and the election are taking up a lot of the air right now, I’m also trying to get in letters on other topics, as I know not everyone is as enthralled with the political process as some of our voters. There are other important, fun, or wacky things going on in our communities right now and it’s good to have a reminder of the whole wide world (or at least the Cowichan Valley) out there for when some of us can get tunnel vision.

If you don’t see your letter in print, head to www.cowichanvalleycitizen.com. Write on, everyone.

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