There’s a comment we get on occasion that goes something like this: “The ideas on the Clarion’s Opinion page don’t represent my point of view.”
We’d like to offer a way to change that: submit a letter to the editor.
We also occasionally hear rumors that we don’t print letters with which we disagree, or that we charge a fee to publish letters.
We’d like to take this opportunity to assure readers that neither of those are true.
In fact, we think our opinion page is at its best when it includes a wide range of viewpoints.
Submitting a letter to the editor is easy. You can email a letter to email@example.com, or submit a letter through our website at www.peninsulaclarion.com. If you prefer to write your thoughts out longhand, you can mail your letter to the Clarion at P.O. Box 3009, Kenai, AK 99611. You can also fax it to 907-283-3299, or drop it off at our office at 150 Trading Bay Road, Suite 1 in Kenai.
Be sure to include your place of residence as well as a phone number with your submission. We don’t publish phone numbers, but we do need a way to contact you if we have a question about your letter.
We do have a few guidelines. Letters should not exceed 500 words. We do accept longer commentary pieces — we call them “Voices of the Peninsula” — of up to 800 words, submitted by writers who have a unique insight into an issue, or some experience that would qualify them as an expert on a specific topic.
Letter writers should refrain from personal attacks. You can disagree with a person’s opinion without condemning the person.
Use your own words. One of the challenges we’ve encountered of late is readers submitting commentary they’ve found elsewhere. Sometimes the commentary is attributed; sometimes it’s not. Sometimes, commentary found online isn’t based on facts — some might even call it fake news. We’re more interested in what our community has to say about an issue anyway.
If you have questions or just want to verify that your letter has been received, feel free to call Clarion editor Will Morrow. You can reach him at 907-335-1251. You can also send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There’s going to be a lot to talk about in the coming months. The Legislature gavels in Tuesday. There’s a gubernatorial election this fall. The Kenai Peninsula Borough and local municipalities will continue to address controversial topics.
One of the Clarion’s roles is to hold a mirror up to the community, and share what’s reflected there. Writing a letter to the editor to share your opinion with our community is a great way to be a part of that.