Since our inception in 1983, The Hudson Reporter has always had a policy of printing all the letters we receive. We have, with a few unavoidable exceptions, been true to this policy. In fact, there have been several weeks in which we have carried four pages of letters.
We have always recognized the importance of the letters section. Its importance as a public bulletin board for dialogue on issues and concerns cannot be understated. Our letters pages serve as an outlet for community kudos and frustrations, opposing viewpoints, anonymous suggestions, poetry and whimsical thoughts.
As a result, we have been very hesitant to change letters and have only done so when we felt extreme measure should be used. We have withheld names when requested, believing that people who fear retribution for expressing their views, real or imagined, should be protected. We do not print letters unless we have been given the name, address and phone number of the author for verification. (All Letters to the Editor are verified before publication.)
Recently we have been receiving more and more nasty “hate letters” that have no true value and serve to only inflame and denigrate people. These letters do nothing to improve our community. They only tear down the neighborhood feelings that make our cities so unique and wonderful. Many of these letters make unsubstantiated accusations against others that we have no way of confirming or proving.
It is not the desire of the Hudson Reporter to be a vehicle for rumormongering or personal attacks. We demand our journalists print the truth to the best of their knowledge, and will hold our letter writers to the same standard.
As a result, any letters that might be considered by the publishers to be nasty, attack letters without substantive comment or community value will be reviewed by a committee of our staff and might not be printed. The same committee may choose to edit out any portions of letters that contain similar language.
All letter writers should submit substantiation of claims or accusations against others with their letters. If you cannot substantiate this information to our satisfaction, the letter will not be printed.
This is not to say that we will censor all negative letters, but that letters should relate to issues, and when they contain information about another person that purports to be factual, it must be verifiable.
We hope this will increase the value of our Letters to the Editor pages and we encourage our readers to use these pages in a responsible way for the betterment of our communities.