Thanks, letter writers, for all your great work on the editorial page

 
 
Published12/29/2007 11:48 PM

I thank you for caring enough about your community, your state, your world to share your thoughts.

He was tired of being overtaxed.

 

She was angry with an overreaching government.

Yet they paused before reaching for the pen to register their disgust in writing. Though they desperately wanted to share their thoughts with many others who likely felt the same way, they did not want to risk retaliation from a government that would consider such words of protest to be the ramblings of a traitor.

So it was for the American colonists who would ultimately transform the cause of independence from Britain from a whispering campaign into a full-blown revolution.

From that, came our freedom -- freedom to write words critical of our government without fear of reprisal.

And many of you have taken full advantage of this liberty, given to us by our founders, to write letters to the editor.

This year, we published 1,180 letters to the editor in the DuPage County edition of the Daily Herald. Several thousand more were published in other editions, from readers in Cook, Kane, Lake and McHenry counties.

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Newspapers are changing. The Daily Herald is more than what you retrieve from your driveway every morning. We are making use of the Internet to strengthen news coverage, and to give readers more access to our newspaper and the means to connect to other information outlets.

But as things change, some remain the same. I am certain that one of the most popular sections of the newspaper is that space dedicated to letters to the editor which, in the Daily Herald, is called Fence Post.

One of the encouraging things I found in reviewing reader commentary from this year is that nearly 30 percent of what we published in Fence Post came from first-time writers to the Daily Herald.

Please keep writing. Guidelines for writing a letter to the editor can be found on this page under the heading, "How to send your letter to Fence Post."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

As I have noted before in this space, most letters submitted for publication do get in the paper. If they don't get published, it could be because they were way too long. We try to adhere to a 300-word length limit. That is not a rigid requirement, but try to stay close to meeting it. On occasion letters aren't published because I couldn't verify their accuracy, they are part of a letter-writing campaign, or they had a tone that bordered on libelous, bigoted or a personal attack. Or I couldn't confirm authorship. Sometimes I might overlook a letter. For that, I apologize.

I want to thank you for writing, for caring enough about your community, your state, your world to share your thoughts with the hope that your point of view can make a difference.

I also want to give special acknowledgment to those who frequently submit commentary to the Fence Post. I have come to know you well, at least your feelings and philosophy, in the many, many years you have been writing letters to the Daily Herald.

They are: Glenn Arnold, Tim Baldwin, Mike Barbour, P.J. Bertrand, Paul Bischoff, Gordon Brand, Verda Bufkin, Ray Campbell, Patrick Cleary, Chuck Coletta, Mary Ann Cronauer, Robert Darcy, Mike Davitt, Myron Dudek, Constance Earl, Robert Graham, Lanlan Hoo, George Kocan, Anne Krick, Wayne Lela, Linda Linford, D.O. Lipensky, Roy Mashek, Paula McGowen, Greg Newlin, Mike Oury, Carl Palash, Elizabeth Pearson, Fran Quinn, Leo Ratzer, Walter Santi, Nick Schiavone, Kent Schielke, Joe Schrantz, Greg Stimpson, Edward Tobolik, Steve Toye, Theodore Utchen, Mary Warren, Priscilla Weese, Wightman Weese, Donald Westlake, Richard White and Walter Zlotow.

Keep writing those letters. And a happy New Year to you.

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