2018-05-31 / Views

Double policy for letters based partly on intent

And the best policy is ... the present policy.

We’ve heard and read emails from dozens of readers commenting on our request for input on how to handle the occasional letter that comes in a bit on the rough side.

Misspellings. Incorrect punctuation. Run-on sentences. The things that give middle school English teachers fits.

Our policy has been to polish up the letters that thank neighbors and praise nonprofits. The feel-good writings that tend to help build community.

But as to the letters that blast President Obama or President Trump — or that take a township official to task — we’ve let them flow as they were received.

It seems that such a double-sided approach works with readers as well as the Enterprise editorial staff. In our view, the intent of people seeking to express themselves matters.

Wrote “Tim” in response, “I agree that if an 80-year-old grandma writes in to thank the local fire department, you should clean up her prose to eliminate spelling errors or other mishaps. If on the other hand some wacko (left or right) sends in a political rant with misspelled words, erroneous verb conjugations and/or incomplete sentences, I say print as is.”

And so such a policy will continue.

It’s not that we don’t welcome more controversial letters. Far from it.

We might wince at them. But if someone has the courage to attach their name to a controversial topic, we give that author credit.

There’s something patriotic about having the fortitude to stand up and be heard, regardless of the crassness of the message.

The First Amendment will always have a place in the Leelanau Enterprise.

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