Our society has unfortunately become a place where you can't have a conversation about many topics without someone jumping down your throat. The idea of a civil conversation has somehow disappeared.
The role of a newspaper is to offer a voice for everyone in a community, and it should offer editorials on subjects that will spark positive debate. Taking any other approach would be irresponsible journalism. If there's a topic worth offering an opinion, we will.
Our local editorials -- under the heading Our View -- started last Sunday and continue this week. We will meet weekly to decide what the subject will be and what stance we will take. Our goal is for our editorials to make Poplar Bluff and the area a better place to live and work. We also believe civil conversation is a good thing.
It's important that everyone has the opportunity to have a Letter to the Editor or Speak Out printed in the newspaper. We have a Letters to the Editor policy we will use to screen the letters in case they could be liable or distasteful. The same holds true for Speak Outs.
Just because someone in the community doesn't agree with a Letter to the Editor or Speak Out isn't a good enough reason to not print it. As stated earlier, it's the newspaper's role to offer everyone an opportunity to let his or her opinions be heard. Again, those opinions must meet certain criteria.
We encourage Letters to the Editors and Speak Outs and we ask that you write them in a productive manner. If a Letter to the Editor doesn't meet our policy, we will share with the author why and suggest a way it can be rewritten so it can run. I've shared this statement numerous times:
"Don't allow the words you use or the way you say something to overshadow the point you're trying to make." Too many times the author of a Letter to the Editor or Speak Out is so worked up about the subject, he or she allows their emotions to take over. Being emotional about a subject isn't bad, but it can keep you from getting your point across in a positive manner. Some will only remember the negative tone or words instead of the point you're trying to make.
The Daily American Republic is your community newspaper and we want you to be an active participant when it comes to sharing your opinions. There's a lot to talk about in any community. Poplar Bluff and the surrounding area is no different.
Thank you for reading the DAR and we look forward to hearing from you.