Well, we did it. And we will now get complaints that we did it. I know we will, but hey, that’s okay because that’s part of our business and I’m glad someone finally had the guts to ask us to let them do it!
So what did we do? Well, turn to page six of this week’s Cuenca Dispatch and you will see. We printed a guest column we got from someone who disagreed with the column I wrote on climate change a few weeks back (Vol. 2, Issue 46, June 10, 2018, “Is it hot in here or is it just me?”).
It’s a very good response. It’s well written and it presents an argument to what I wrote in a very well thought out retort, even if it’s with a little bit of political lean in it. It stays on topic, it challenges me on the points I’ve written (not me personally) and best of all, the writer signed it.
The writer left his name and his email address. He knows he will get a lot of “stuff” thrown at him when this gets published. We talked to him about it and he said it’s okay; he’s willing to take it on the chin to be able to present his argument.
I couldn’t respect the author more for doing this. I know what “feedback” he will get; some will be constructive, some will be beyond belief for how mean-spirited it can be. And that is a shame, because if you look at his column, it doesn’t need to be like that. We can all present our side of any debate without being hateful, vulgar or threatening.
So, do I agree with the author now? Do I want to change my stance on climate change? No, not really. But, some of what he says does interest me and will make me explore a little more. I’ll look into the claims he makes about the 485 scientific papers that were published by scientists “searching for a way to back out quietly” of their prior stances on climate change. I’ll look to see if their reports are sound or if they are doing this from their fears of the current political battle on the issue.
That’s something that I probably wouldn’t be doing if the author had not been brave enough to send us his letter with his name on it.
Anyway, what I’m really happy about is that we finally received an actual “Letter to the Editor” which the editor decided to make into a guest column. Someone took the time to sit down and write something to us that has substance; it’s not just some little spittle that fell onto the keyboard when someone got mad at what I (or any of our other columnists) wrote.
And as you read it, you’ll see how big a difference that makes. It’s a view from the other side that is worth the time it takes to read. It will make you stop and think, even if only for a few seconds, if maybe your view should be slightly altered by it.
So, in the end, this letter is everything I’ve pushed for (some say too often) when I complain about the comments we get online at CuencaHighLife. And with it, all of us at The Cuenca Dispatch would like to open our pages to comments and opinions.
Write us a “Letter to the Editor,” and if it stays on point, informs rather than insults, and is signed by the author and includes an email address, it will likely get printed. I say “likely,” because we are hoping to get a lot of letters; so many so, that we will have to choose the best on any topic just because of space constraints in the newspaper.
We ask that “Letters to the Editor” be no more than 175 words. Also, we may edit them for length and appropriateness (as all newspapers do) so that we can get them into print. We will not change your meaning or your style. We want you to present what you think, the way you are thinking about it.
If a response is longer than 175 words, we will consider running it as a guest column, as we did with the response to my climate change column.
With that said, let’s get those letters started! Please send all “Letters to the Editor” to firstname.lastname@example.org.
P.S. We will also accept letters that agree with anything we have written if they add to the topic.