Don’t like a letter to the editor you just read in the newspaper?

Disagree with a guest column?

Upset about someone else’s point of view?

Then, do something about it.

Write a letter of your own.

There’s no need to be nasty or hateful about it.

Just be thoughtful, respectful and put your points of view down in words and we will be happy to share it with our thousands of readers.

Before you start to say that we shouldn’t run letters to the editor that you don’t like, please understand that by that logic we shouldn’t run your letters either because there will be some people who will not agree with your point of view.

Everyone knows that we have our regular letter to the editor writers but there are thousands of you out there who have something to say, have great opinions and thoughtful points of view, and we would like to share your thoughts with our readers.

You may not like what some of those letter writers or guest columnists have to say but if you read something in another letter, a column or an editorial you disagree with, then sit down and write a column or letter yourself. Just remember not to stoop to name calling and personal attacks. Be civil. Be polite. Be a good person.

Clearly, we publish a lot of opinions we disagree with ourselves. And we should. It is the right thing to do.

We may not agree with what someone thinks or feels but we should all defend their right to think and feel the way they do and defend their right to say it or write it.

We publish diverse points of view very intentionally.

We also hope to spark good public debate. That is what freedom, democracy and an open, free and unfettered press are all about.

All of us should be challenged in our thinking. It makes us stronger.

We are absolutely committed to an open and free marketplace of ideas. We think that is crucial for an open and free society.

That is why we embrace and encourage a robust public discourse and believe we are all made stronger by the words and opinions of others, especially of those with whom we may disagree.

Frankly, editorial pages are made for strong opinions.

We clearly distinguish between news and opinion by publishing opinion pieces, including the newspaper’s weekly editorial, on the editorial pages, clearly marked “Editorial.” On the same pages, we publish letters to the editor, guest columns, syndicated columns and political cartoons.

Newspaper editorial pages celebrate the freedom of speech and provide a redress of grievances guaranteed in the First Amendment. Political and social commentary help define us and refine us as a nation and a community.

We value political debate and celebrate the longstanding newspaper tradition of newspaper commentary, controversial editorial cartoons, opinion columns and letters to the editor.

The letters to the editor section of the newspaper on the Point of View page is always your opportunity to share your opinions.

The editorial page of this newspaper is your free and open public forum and it belongs to the entire community, not just people that look, think, act and talk like you.

Letters contain opinions on issues that have public interest and are not a forum to air domestic disputes or consumer complaints. The Suwannee Democrat, Jasper News and Mayo Free Press strongly encourage letters to the editor and guest columns.

Letters can be submitted to nf.editorial@gaflnews.com or mailed to 521 Demorest St. SE, Live Oak, FL 32064. We look forward to hearing from you.

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