Editorial: The right to say what you think

The big difference between an opinion and a news story

Opinions. One description of the word, according to Merriam-Webster, is “belief stronger than impression and less strong then positive knowledge.” It also  implies a conclusion thought out yet open to dispute.

Our editorial opinions in this newspaper are just that — opinions. They are not written the same way that a news article would be. News articles rarely express an opinion, they are just supposed to state the facts. And this is where people sometimes get it wrong. To feel strongly about an issue is a good thing. To get other people to think about the issue is a good thing. To have people form their own opinions is also a good thing. All we try to do with editorials is to open up the issue and try to get people to think about things. We are not trying to convince anyone or to get them to change their mind, we are merely expressing our opinion. Healthy debate is a good and necessary thing. It is what democracy and freedom of speech is all about.

But to have someone question your integrity, professionalism and rationale because they disagree with you is not a good thing. At least not when it comes to name-calling and threats. We are each entitled to our “Opinion” because that is all it is — an opinion not a statement of fact.

If you disagree with a particular stance taken in an editorial, we welcome your counter stance. But we will not print letters or comments which bully, threaten or belittle anyone.  Your letters also have to be signed, we do not print anonymous letters. The editorials we print are sanctioned by the editor and the publisher, they stand by what they print in the paper and they stand by the person who wrote the editorial. Op eds (like Tom Fletcher’s B.C. Views) are not the same as a letter to the editor by the way.

We can always agree to disagree yet still respect another’s viewpoint.