A statement about Letters to the Editor

By: 
Fines Massey editor@laclederecord.com

The Laclede County Record has been contacted by some concerned and upset people about a letter to the editor that was in Saturday's paper. The letter written by Jennifer Raper espoused the virtues of the Republican Party while denouncing the Democratic Party. 

The newspaper's policy has always been that political letters are not published the weekend before the election because people won't have a chance to give a rebuttal. As this letter was more about the broad strokes of what the writer believes the Republican Party stands for and did not call out any specific candidates, I, editor Fines Massey, felt it was OK to publish. After reading the complaints of several readers, I can now see that I probably shouldn’t have run the letter. As the editor of the newspaper, I’m trying my best to be fair and even handed, but, as you can see, I’m only human. I sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended by the letter, and I vow that in the future, we will not publish any letters pertaining to an election the weekend prior to the election.

I also would like to address the notion that liberal voices are somehow censored or muted by the newspaper. It is obviously no secret that the ownership of this newspaper leans toward the conservative side of the spectrum, but I want to make it clear that I as the editor have never been told to progress any certain brand of politics.  We welcome liberal letters to the editor, and I hope some of our more liberal readers will read this and be encouraged to start sending in their opinions. I would like to see an opinion page full of every type of voice. There is no conspiracy of us throwing away liberal letters or hitting delete when they come into the inbox, we just rarely get them. So, please, if you are so inclined to do so, let your opinion be known. I will print it (so long as it’s within our guidelines).

With all of that being said, I sincerely hope that you believe me when I say that I am continually striving for fairness, and I vow to be more careful in the future.

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The Laclede County Record

100 E. Commercial St.
Lebanon, MO 65536
(417) 532-9131