Editorial -- Who would do that?
If you even think about sending us a letter to the editor and putting somebody else’s name on it, stop in your tracks.
Do not do that. Under no circumstances will we publish it. We will not be scammed in that way.
The recent decision by the Clinton City Council to dissolve the Department of Public Safety has led to a rash of misinformation coming to The Clinton Chronicle. We will not publish anonymous letters, just save the ink in your printer. We will not publish “official looking” City documents unless we know who is giving them to us. We do not have to disclose your name, but we do have to have an anonymous source relationship with you. In other words, we have to know where the documents are coming from - we do not have to tell anyone else where the documents are coming from.
We had a “letter writing campaign” on behalf of the city’s decision to form separate police and fire departments, an arrangement once experienced by the City of Clinton in “the good ole days.” We have received a long letter to the editor, well documented, that had the name of a person who did not write the letter typed at the end of the document. We have received documents concerning the City’s purchase of land for its first recreation complex. We have received a run-down of the current status of police and fire protection in the City of Clinton, basically a “who’s in and who’s out” document. We are not publishing any of this information, at this time.
Journalists everywhere are under severe scrutiny about what they publish and where they get their information. Some of this scrutiny comes about because people don’t know the difference between news and opinion.
Opinion is clearly labeled on the pages of The Clinton Chronicle. Except for some narrow exceptions, we do not consider anyone’s opinion unpublishable.
Style and libel considerations are always ours to determine. It’s not you, the letter writer, who will have to hire an attorney, if things come to that. It’s us of the “deep pockets.” We will not allow anyone to curse anyone else in print. The free-flow of civil opinions is VITAL for the survival of our democracy.
However, it should be your opinion if you sign - all letters must have a legible signature (medical doctors not withstanding) - your name to it. We require a working telephone number for verification. Letters to the editor are accepted via e-mail.
Don’t try to dupe us. In our newsroom, we have more than 100 years of newspaper experience among us - we have seen pretty much everything.
The City of Clinton is experiencing a very difficult time right now. We appreciate that - we live that, just like you do. Just as we get a couple of businesses to open up, a couple more storefronts go dark. We can count our blessings that Hurricane Florence did not wreck us. Just as the case of other storms, we can be expected to help out our neighboring South Carolinians. Nobody has a bigger heart than Clinton - we are the city, after all, that cares for orphans, differently-abled people, the elderly, cancer patients, the medically needy, and the education of young children, and embodies service above self. That is not going to change. What we have to decide is, what is that going to look like moving forward?
We invite EVERYONE to participate in that dialog. We want your views and opinions, and we will publish them without fear of reprisal. Journalism in the United States is fearless, you can count on that (National Newspaper Week is Oct. 7-13). But we will not be duped or taken advantage of - count on that, also.