In this age of social media, it’s amazing that dozens of our readers continue to take the time to write a letter to the editor.
Think about it: You have to write your name, address, phone number and email for verification — and your name is attached to your letter for publication in print and online.
So, there’s nothing anonymous.
You have a word limit (250). You have a frequency limit (once every 30 days). For the most part, we limit letters to our readership area.
With all of that, it’s incredible that in recent weeks, the La Crosse Tribune has been swamped with local letters to the editor and guest columns — dozens of letters representing hundreds of column inches in recent weeks.
It shows why newspapers continue to play an important role: People still want to be heard by the neighbor down the street. You want to share your opinion (hence, the word at the top of the page) and you’re not afraid to have your neighbors know it.
And, as you’ll see in another column on this page, even former governors choose these columns in hopes of molding opinion and unifying support.
Your submissions include a rich diversity of opinion — and no influence from Russian bots.
We’ve published all sides about the “Hiawatha” statue — from tearing it down to preserving it at all costs.
We’ve published letters that suggest arming teachers is the best way to stop school shootings — and letters stating that arming teachers would be a horrible idea.
From national politics to state aid for Foxconn to local potholes, you’ve shared your voices and opinions.
Agree, disagree — it truly doesn’t matter. The point is to provide a village square for community conversation — and it’s gratifying to see the response.
No, we don’t publish them all. Some are simply offensive. Some are simply a personal beef or consumer complaint or unsubstantiated allegations. Others are repetitive. Many that are hand-written are illegible and often don’t have a name or contact information (submitting via email means a much higher chance of appearing in print in a timely fashion). Some people submit weekly — never mind the limit on frequency, which is designed to allow for more voices on the page. Some speak in code, acronym and tongues (which is a topic for another column).
As we always have, we devote the time and space to publish a vast majority of your submissions because your words add to the vibrancy of community debate.