Advertisement

Quick Comment

April 01, 1998

1. Let the editors pick and choose which letters appear, like they do at the metropolian-area papers, where there's no guarantee every letter will be published.

This is our least-favorite option, because the last thing we want to be accused of is suppressing readers' views. And if the editors pick and choose which letters appear, then more readers will call to plead the case for their letters, adding to an already busy day.

2. Print every letter that's not libelous or slanderous, but edit all of them heavily. Overly long letters are edited now, but to fit all we're getting into the available space, we'd have to slice them a good bit more than we do now.

We're not wild about this option either, because every time we trim a letter, it seems that the sentence or phrase that we cut - whether it was in the beginning, middle or end - was (in the reader's mind, at least) the most important point.

Advertisement

3. Carry all letters on our Herald-Mail site on the World Wide Web, but only print what we can fit in the newspaper.

The downside to this idea is that not everyone has access to the Internet, and those who don't may be discouraged from writing to The Herald-Mail.

4. Print letters in a different, more compact typestyle. Switching from our current typstyle, called ATNews Number Two, to another called Times would trim most letters by at least a third.

Is there a catch? Yes, as you can see in the paragraphs we've reproduced in that style below, it's harder to read.*

Print letters in a different, more compact typestyle. Switching from our currect typestyle, which is called ATNews Number Two to another font called Times would trim most letters by at least a third.

5. Have space reassigned from another part of the paper to the Sunday Opinion section. Other sections have already been trimmed as a result of newsprint price hikes. Editors say that any rearrangement of space could make for some awkward combinations, like the crossword puzzle appearing in the Money section, for example.

6. Drop the syndicated columnists who appear on weekdays. We've already done this on Sunday, and it would free up space in addition to saving money. However, that would mean that only local views would appear on our editorial page.

7. Do nothing, and tell readers that it will take up to two weeks for the average letter to appear. None of these ideas is completely satisfactory and if you have a better one, we'd love to hear it. Thanks in advance for all your help.

*( NOTE From webmaster--This font change will not affect how the letters appear on the web. )

The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|