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OUR OPINION: Your Opinion: A forum to exchange ideas, not endorsements

OUR OPINION: Your Opinion: A forum to exchange ideas, not endorsements

September 15th, 2010 in News

Allow us to offer our opinion about your opinions.

First, our thanks to all contributors.

In our opinion, the forum is at its best when it serves as an exchange of ideas that advance a community conversation.

Opposing opinions do not always reflect right and wrong; sometimes they simply are different.

We continue to encourage contributors to focus on ideas, not personalities.

As the November election approaches, we also remind contributors that candidate endorsements - or disparagements - are inappropriate in this forum.

Contributors may comment on issues and policies, but not candidates. You still have the opportunity to champion a candidate through paid advertising and, of course, the ballot box.

Admittedly, a fine line sometimes may separate opinion and endorsement. References to candidates, campaigns and/or contests likely will be construed as endorsement. References to parties, policies and issues likely will not. The "Your Opinion" forum - as its title suggests - is yours. Our intent is to intervene as little as possible. That intent also explains our reluctance to reject letters, as some of our readers have suggested. After one reader suggested we reject letters from the "right-wing, lunatic fringe," another reader recommended such a policy be extended to similar letters from the "left." More recent letters have encouraged free speech not be suppressed. We have no intention to suppress the free expression of ideas. Intercepting free campaign ads is difficult enough.