October 28, 2020

Stevens County Times

Your spot for community news in Stevens County, Minnesota

Our Letter to the Editor Policy

We’ve published this message to our readers several times in the past months, but we feel we need to again let you know that our space on the editorial page for letters is limited.

We recently read that limiting a letter to the editor to 250 words gives the writer “only enough space to shake a fist, not enough for resolutions.” We must agree with the observation, but we are also facing a challenging economic time in our community, one from which our newspaper is not immune.

As we do our best to provide you the essential news stories and the advertising from our community’s businesses, we are likely to be printing fewer pages for a few months. Tighter news space means we won’t have as much space on our opinion page and Page 5A for your letters. We would ask when you write to us that you keep your letters in the range of 400 to 450 words. This message to you has 381 words.

One more point: Letters must be timely. If we receive a letter that refers to an event that has already passed as if it is about to happen, it is too late to publish. If you want to address the topic, write about it in the past tense saying why it was an important event.

We very much want to publish your letters in the weeks and months ahead.  Your thoughts, insights and observations at this stressful time in our community will help us keep in touch with one another when we are required to be social distancing. While we can’t gather in our usual places of worship, dining, and entertainment, we can get together on these pages. 

Your letters will also become part of the history of this time in our community. Two years ago, we did extensive reading in the 1918 and 1919 issues of our newspaper. We read the stories of the pain and sorrow families were suffering as what was then called the “Spanish Flu” swept the world. The 1918 fl u was particularly deadly to the young. Hundreds died in our small communities with many between the ages of 4 and 40. 

One hundred years from now your letters will give people insight into how our community faced and overcame the ravages of the coronavirus.