Election letters welcome

By now, it’s pretty apparent that the election season is in full swing. And, if past voting cycles are any indication, that means we likely will see an increase in the number of letters to the editor that we receive.

Submissions by our readers are important — they offer a chance to show many different points of view and can lead to further discussion about issues that are important to the residents of our area. Whether it’s a letter to the editor or a guest column, we welcome all submissions. Despite what you might think or what someone has told you, we do not reject letters because they reflect a particular political or social point of view.

There are, in fact, only a few reasons why we will reject a particular letter. One is if we determine a submission to be a personal attack or if a letter could be determined to be libelous — and remember, politicians and those who are in the public eye are more open to criticism and questions than are private citizens.

Another reason a letter will be rejected is length — our limit is 500 words. Period. That means that a submission that is 507 words will need to be edited down to the limit, or we will not be able to publish it.

We also do not allow responses to responses. If you are willing to write a letter taking a stand on a particular issue or in support of a candidate or issue, it’s likely that a person or several persons who don’t share you views will send a letter in response. And that’s fine — it’s all part of the process of reading about various viewpoints. At that point, it’s time to shift to a different topic. The original writer had his or her say, and other readers had their say in response, and then we move on.

Writers are limited to one letter every four weeks — this allows for submissions from many different people, and we won’t run anonymous letters, known form letters or letters submitted with multiple signatures.

If a letter is rejected, we will contact the writer and explain why, and the writer then will be able to make changes and resubmit the edited version.

Generally, letters appear in our Sunday edition, but based on the number of submissions in a given week, they also can run in the Saturday and even the Friday editions. In any case, the deadline for submission is noon on Thursday — not 12:15 p.m. or 12:43 p.m. And, remember, it is the responsibility of the writer to make sure we receive the submission before the deadline.

Which brings us back to the election — the deadline for submissions for letters regarding the Nov. 7 election is noon Oct. 26, and those letters will appear Oct. 28 and Oct. 29 (and maybe Oct. 27, if the number of submissions warrants.)

Here’s a helpful guide to readers — you have just read 500 words.

Your views are important, and we are happy to be able to provide a platform for area residents to share their thoughts with readers from around the Tri-State Area. It’s a longtime tradition for newspapers, and one we are happy to be able to continue.

(Gallabrese, a resident of Steubenville, is executive editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times.)