The Village News: Editorials


 
February 7, 2021

Letters to the Editor

 

EditorialWe recently received a letter from one of our readers criticizing our Letters To The Editor section. The sender felt the LTTE section was slanted towards the “Village” and it was one sided. There was no room for opposing views. In fact our reader said, “People were afraid to express their opinions for fear of being ridiculed or blasted!” Wow, are we guilty as charged?

Our three person Editorial Board met and spent considerable time discussing our LTTE section and here are our conclusions:

The rules we follow for our LTTE section are pretty clearly stated at the top of the section, but there’s more to the story.

First off, we never edit a LTTE in any way. We post them, warts and all in their entirety, just the way we receive them. Once up, they stay up until we decide to pull them down because they’ve either been up long enough, or the issues being discussed are no longer pertinent, i.e., a vote has taken place.

If a sender decides they want to change a letter that’s already been published, we won’t do it. The sender has two choices... At their request, we’ll either leave the letter as is, or we’ll permanently take it down. We won’t allow editing of a letter after it’s been published.

When we receive a LTTE, it’s reviewed by each member of our Editorial Review Board. If all three agree that the letter follows our guidelines, as stated on the LTTE section, the letter goes up. If any of the members of the Board has a problem with the letter, it’s rejected and isn’t published.

You’ll notice that we don’t evaluate LTTE letters for content. We don’t have to agree with the ideas the sender is expressing. The LTTE section is YOUR section. YOU decide what content appears in the LTTE section and here’s the important part. In any given year, over the past 17 years, there might have been ONE, LTTE letter, rejected and not published. In fact, the number is probably a total of four or five over the 17 year period. Why is the number so low? Because you’ve all been very good about following our guidelines.

Are their exceptions? Rarely, but yes, If we publish a letter from sender “A” and sender “B” then writes in disagreeing with “A,” we’ll allow “A” to respond to “B.” If “B” wants to then respond to “A’s” response, we’ll allow it, but that’s it. No “cat fights” are allowed and “flaming” letters would have never been allowed in the first place. The LTTE section is a place to express YOUR ideas and feelings. It’s not a place to debate on and on with no end in site or to attack one another.

Bellport.com serves the South Country area, Bellport Village, North Bellport, Brookhaven Hamlet, and East Patchogue. If we seem to be focusing more on Bellport Village, it’s probably because more of our readers from the Village send us letters and Bellport Village is the commercial center of the South Country area. The same is true for our Seen & Heard and Late Breaking News sections. If we get more information, we’ll print more information.

It all boils down to this. The LTTE section is a reflection of what you, our readers, are thinking and want to share. We can’t, and shouldn’t, generate content for the LTTE section. If it seems lopsided in one direction or another, it’s either because our community is leaning in one direction or another, or that more of you should go to your keyboards and let your neighbors know what you think.

 


 

If you have a comment and would like to respond to any of the above, we'd be glad to consider printing your response. Please send your comments to larry@bellport.com. You can read the comments we receive on our Letters To The Editor page.

Sincerely,

Larry Sribnick

Larry Sribnick
Editor/Publisher, Bellport.com