The VIEW from here

Opinions — everybody seems to have one

Gary Gould — Managing Editor

Gary Gould — Managing Editor

I wrote this column three years ago, but I thought I’d dust it off this week to invite readers to write more letters to the editor. T his is the Viewpoint page, the place for all opinions in the newspaper — whether they be ours or those of the community. They say opinions are like … well … noses, everybody has one. That’s good, because we’d like to hear from more of you about your opinions.

But sometimes I have to speak up and give my two-cents when I hear something I just can’t resist talking about. I’ve encountered a couple of opinions that have been directed at me recently which leave me wondering just where some people are coming from.

The first came in an e-mail. It was from a reader who was tired of reading letters to the editor written by the same author week after week.

“Surely you have other letter writers who deserve the space more” was the gist of the e-mail. The author also suggested I give this frequent letter-writer his own column and put him on the payroll.

First of all, I get the sole column on this page and nobody gets paid here to write letters to the editor. My advice to the reader, and to anyone else who thinks there should be more letters to the editor, is please, write some and send them to us.

If you don’t like seeing letters from the same guy over and over, write some of your own and tell us what your opinion is. Don’t sit at home writing anonymous e-mails complaining that we run too many letters by one person.

I’ll give that person credit, at least he writes when he has something on his mind. And as long as he isn’t sending us letters that are inaccurate or that contain libelous content, I’ll run his letters. He has a right to his opinion and I’m not going to silence him because someone else doesn’t like reading his letters. If you don’t agree with him, write your own letter to the editor.

Another opinion came my way this week. It was second-hand information, but it really rubbed me the wrong way. It came from a local business owner who told one of our employees we should not run ANY news or advertising that isn’t from inside the community.

Now I can understand, to some degree, the “no outside news” argument. Some people like to keep their community inside a bubble and they don’t want to hear about what goes on outside their little world. They never would venture outside their community to attend a play at Buckham Alley in Flint, or a program at a Genesee District Library on the other side of the county, or, heaven forbid, venture to a business or entertainment event in some place other than their hometown.

We make the local news our first priority, but we also cover some news from other parts of Genesee County. It’s a fact of life — but I can understand the argument.

What I can’t understand or accept is the notion that we, as a newspaper and money-making business, should turn up our nose at paid advertising from outside our coverage area. Seriously, is that a joke?

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