Letter: What’s the Vail Daily’s letters policy?
In his recent column, Vail Daily Editor Nate Peterson introduced himself “as the new captain of this publishing outfit,” then went on to say that “people rely on us to shape the conversation in this valley.” That said, it came as an enlightening shot across the bow to read in the latest Business Briefs newspaper that the reason that the new editor gave a letter writer as his reason for not running his letter (letter topic: Northam Blackface Scandal).
After receiving the writer’s letter, the editor responded by questioning why the writer had submitted a letter on a topic having nothing to do with local issues. The editor then went on to say that the Vail Daily tries to keep the letters section for opinions on local issues (Eagle County) while national issues are addressed by the Vail Daily’s columnists who, “on both sides of the spectrum, certainly address national topics.” The writer wrote back to the Vail Daily editor stating that he had never heard of that policy and asked the editor when it was enacted.
I had never heard of that policy either, so on Feb. 15 I emailed Vail Daily Publisher Mark Wurzer requesting insight as to the Vail Daily’s policy. I received no reply.
I would, therefore, be very grateful if editor Peterson would respond to this letter and provide the Vail Daily readers with specifics on the Vail Daily’s commentary page policy. Before citizens spend time writing about issues important to them, it is only fair that they know what the rules are for shaping the conversation will be. Answers to questions like: Does the Vail Daily limit commentary on national issues to column writers only? Does the Vail Daily limit opinion letters to “local” (Eagle County) topics only? And will the Vail Daily policy provide a forum for readers to rebut columns regardless of whether the topic is national or local?
Editor’s response: The Vail Daily accepts letters to the editor that are 300 words or less. Letters must include the author’s name, hometown, affiliation (if any) and phone number (for verification purposes only). The decision to print any submission is at the discretion of the Vail Daily editor. It’s the policy of the paper that claims made in letters have to be supported by facts. Frequent letter writers are typically limited to having one letter run a month to keep the conversation fresh. There is also an emphasis on keeping the focus in the letters section on local issues. The letter, in this instance, wasn’t in response to anything written by a local columnist. Send your letter to firstname.lastname@example.org.