By: Caroline Machiraju
“Difference of opinion leads to inquiry; and inquiry to the truth.” ~ Thomas Jefferson.
I couldn’t agree more with our Founding Father. But Pennlive vis a vis its Opinion / Letters to the Editor (LTE) page, does not.
I submitted a LTE to Pennlive (3-4 in the last year or so, actually!) and met all the requirements. But, not the unspoken requirement: I did not support Pennlive’s (Leftist!) Opinion, their narrative.
I challenged it. Most recently, on the subject of leftist ideology taking over our local schools.
In response, I was toyed with, told “dozens of letters are received a day” and was held waiting for weeks, only to learn – after prodding – they had no intentions to publish my letter. (I will reprint my letter in the Harrisburg100 “Letters to the Editor” forum on Facebook; more on that later.)
PENNLIVE PICKS DEMOCRATS OVER DIVERSITY:
While waiting for my letter to be published, I did spend some time researching those LTE’s that were published on Pennlive, so if other readers are wishing to improve their odds for LTE publication, these are things to consider:
“Guest” submissions far outnumber the published “Reader” submitted letters. So, if you have some prominent role in the community, maybe a professor or a head of an association, maybe a former legislator, your chances are much greater than “we the people.” They’ll decide whose voice matters!
Now if you’re an average folk, like me, just a “reader” if you will, yes, you are starting with a disadvantage.But, don’t despair; you’ll greatly increase the chance of being published if you repeat the Democrat talking points! Yes, Democrats rejoice! You have a mainstream newspaper that will amplify your opinions! Your voice matters! Inclusion for you!
In fact, you are on the fast track to publication, because multiple recent L2E readers had different letters published within days of each other! To hell with the one LTE a month policy! Mark Laser of Carlisle had a letter published on March 16th; then five days later, March 21st! What a privilege! And, Christine Adams of Mayport, privilege abounds for you, too. Christine had a letter printed on March 17th and March 23rd! (I just checked the latter letter and Pennlive even updated it with some inaccuracies contained therein, and yet it’s still online for all to view! What a deal!) And, shout-out to Barry Shutt of Harrisburg: another writer that circumvents the supposed “one per month” policy because of his LTEs that support leftist policy.
Now, gee-willy, even if you’re from Pittsburgh (Judith Flaherty), or as far away as Colorado (Kirby MacLaurin), leftist reader LTEs are published, bumping ahead of us lowly locals. Isn’t that telling?
PENNLIVE IS ANTI-DISCOURSE, UNDERMINING CITIZENS’ ROLES
Is it any wonder that pop-up news sites, like Harrisburg100 are growing to counter this obvious exclusion from the public exchange of thought and ideas in today’s “local” news??
Where is the integrity in journalism today? It’s widely known that Pennlive leans far left; but at least free the Opinion page, let the discourse flow freely among the people on this one little page, that has been a hallmark of American discourse for centuries. (It’s worth stating that today’s opinion pages are now both printed and digital, online format, so there really is no “space” limitation restricting newspapers from sharing more reader-submitted letters digitally!)
As citizens, we have a duty to vote, but also to stay informed on issues of importance, yet that relies on local media to share – not censor – information from varied sources. Pennlive is failing its readers – and our country.
Ronald D. Clark of the St. Paul Pioneer Press and a champion of LTEs, once wrote, “Consider letters as a barometer of how well (you are) engaging readers or viewers. The more you receive, the more you’re connecting. The fewer you receive, the stronger the sign that you’re putting the masses to sleep.”
I question what the “barometer” is at Pennlive. I question how many letters that Pennlive is truly receiving each day; I question how many they reject simply because of the political leanings of the writer; I question their supposed one letter per month policy! I question a lot. But, then again, I have a journalist’s heart. I also have a God-seeking, and a truth-seeking heart. And, while I may never get the answers on this side of Heaven, I hold to the promises of God; He sees all things and nothing is hidden. And, He works all things for good.
With that said, I will share with you the letter I wrote to Pennlive via Harrisburg100. Look for the hashtag: #Hbg100L2E in a separate post!
And lastly, Pennlive: Enjoy your awards and your accolades! You may be able to write your own “legacy” but God’s Word stands eternally true! Matthew 24:35. Oh, and Happy (Belated) Sunshine Week! @SunshineWeek #SunshineWeek Catch a ray, will ya, Pennlive?