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Letters to the editor, columns, opinions give newspaper heart

Posted: Tuesday, Sep 3rd, 2013

By Bryon Glathar

Herald Managing Editor

A veteran journalist and good friend of mine has often said, “The opinions page is the heart of the newspaper.” He’s also referred to it as the “lifeblood” of any newspaper.

There were times he didn’t have enough content to have an opinions page and he would cringe, physically expressing how the lack of other people expressing their own feelings took a toll on him.

Here at the Herald, the Viewpoints (opinions) page is anchored on page A3 so readers know exactly where to find out what other people think about a variety of topics. Most pages throughout the newspaper are flexible and can be moved around to accommodate space, subject or amount of content.

Not so with this page. It is, and always will be, on page A3.

Another unique feature of this page is there are never any ads. This is partly so readers don’t assume any of the opinions on the page are sponsored by a particular business. Because we need to remember: Letters, columns, opinions on this page are just that, opinions.

Another reason ads are never run on this page is because we believe it’s imporant to have a page – an entire page – devoted to the voices of readers, columnists and the opinions of our staff, or sometimes the newspaper as a whole.

I’d like to encourage our readers to be a part of this page.

Send us your letters. Tell us what you think, whether it is about a news article we ran, something we ought to look into, or pointing out something you’ve noticed (whether good or bad) about the city or county, even local government. A letter can be an observation of an act of kindness, or a suggestion on how to handle some particular problem that has come up.

A letter came across my desk recently – one that questioned the transparency and lawfulness of the county government. While that’s an extrememly intriguing topic, and one that the we, as reporters, are obligated to look into, we didn’t run the letter because it didn’t meet our policy standards.

We require letters to the editor to include the name, address and phone number of the author. Since the letter didn’t have a phone number, I couldn’t contact the person identified to verify he actually wrote the letter.

Our complete policy for letters to the editor can be found on this page, every issue, in the lower right-hand corner.

Please take advantage of this opportunity to be a part of the lifeblood, the heart of the Uinta County Herald, and share your opinions and expressions with the rest of our readers.

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