Focus letters on local communities
August 5, 2021
Dear Roxie Sterling,
The change to our Letters to the Editor policy restricting letters to local issues is not meant to cancel conservative voices. This change equally affects letter writers from all political views and opinions as it pertains to national politics and issues. We will not allow one view and silence the other.
We feel there are many different platforms to address issues at the national level. What makes the Seeley Swan Pathfinder unique is that it focuses on the Clearwater, Swan and Blackfoot Valley events, people and issues. More than 2,000 people each week read our paper because they have a connection to our communities and they can learn about what is happening locally. Readers do not pick up the Pathfinder to read about national events and issues, unless of course they happened locally.
We agree with you that voting laws, free speech, gun rights, school curriculum, immigration, masks, vaccinations, abortion and the Constitution are very important topics that affect us all. But what we want to see in Letters to the Editor is discussion on issues that can impact decisions being made locally.
The odds that a letter in the Pathfinder will impact a national issue are incredibly slim. However, with local issues the odds are very high that it will reach our decision makers and it can have an impact. Some of the national issues do have local ties. For instance, a letter regarding how Missoula County runs elections or how the Health Department is handling COVID would be perfectly acceptable under our new policy.
The Letters to the Editor section is open to you, regardless of political or religious beliefs, to share your opinions, experiences and expertise with our local lawmakers and fellow citizens.
We will continue to provide the opportunity for your voice to be heard no matter what “side” you are on. But keep it local!
Nathan and Andi Bourne, Seeley Swan Pathfinder Owners