June 4, 2020

Grant County Herald

Community news from the prairie to the lakes

Why we limit the length of ‘Letters to the Editor’

Reed Anfinson, Publisher Grant County Herald

We recently read that limiting a letter to the editor to a certain number of words gives the writer “only enough space to shake a fist, not enough for resolutions.” We must agree with the observation, but we are also facing a challenging economic time in our community, one from which our newspaper is not immune.

As we do our best to provide you the essential news stories and the advertising from our community’s businesses, we are likely to be printing fewer pages for a few months. Tighter news space means we won’t have as much space on our opinion page and Page A5 for your letters. We would ask when you write us that you keep your letters under 400 words. Letters to the Editor endorsing a candidate for office, should be limited to 200 words and are billed at 10 cents a word.

We very much want to publish your letters in the weeks and months ahead. Your thoughts, insights, and observations at this stressful time in our community will help us keep in touch with one another when we are required to be social distancing. While we can’t gather in our usual places of worship, dining, and entertainment, we can get together on these pages.

Your letters will also become part of the history of this time in our community. Two years ago, we did extensive reading in the 1918 and 1919 issues of our newspaper. We read the stories of the pain and sorrow families were suffering as what was then called the “Spanish Flu” swept the world. The 1918 flu was particularly deadly to the young. Hundreds died in our small communities, with many between the ages of 4 and 40.

One hundred years from now from your letters will give people insight into how our community faced and overcame the ravages of the coronavirus.