Letters welcome: Getting your view into print

Letters are a focal point of any newspaper.

In every issue of the Hood River News, the “Our Readers Write” column is a vital part of the community forum.

If you have never written before, here are the guidelines for “Our Readers Write.”

If it’s 350 words or less your letter stands a good chance of getting printed.

Letters critical of this newspaper are fair game, as are those calling public officials or public figures to task. We even allow writers to question the content of other letter writers, though we have also been known to ask the “dueling writers” to get together for a cup of coffee and talk it over.

No letter is eliminated based on topic or point of view; we do not “choose” the letters that run. If it’s within 350 words and meets the guidelines, it will be published, and we always try to open up as much space for letters as we can. However, we do reserve the right to select from similar letters on a given topic, for space reasons.

Hood River News reminds writers that shorter is better. Concise letters are not only better-read, they are more likely to be published when space is limited. We limit letters on a subject when we feel it has been thoroughly aired, to the point of letters becoming repetitive.

Almost any point can be made in 350 words or fewer, so this is set as an upper level for length.

Thank-you letters are in nearly every case placed in the Neighbors column.

We do not print unsigned or “name withheld by request” letters, nor those signed with fictitious signatures. Copied letters sent to public officials also are not published.

Also rejected are letters that are libelous, in bad taste or personal attacks on individuals or private businesses. Writers must include addresses and telephone numbers. These are for identification purposes only, and will not be published.

Meanwhile, we’re compiling our annual list of all the year’s letter writers, for publication in late December; the more the merrier.

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