Why expressing YOUR opinion matters

David F. Rooney
David F. Rooney

One of the numbers I mentioned in What a Ride! The Revelstoke Current celebrates its first quarter is 86. That’s the number of comments posted by viewers directly to the web site. I have also received e-mail letters that were posted in the Opinions & Letters Section. I am always happy when people like what they are reading. But one of the major reasons I created The Current was to provide Revelstokians with a forum for expressing their opinions and their concerns about the present and the future.

Public dialogue is critically important to the health of any community. It reveals flaws and problems as they come to light. It allows us to discuss them rationally and openly. Ultimately, it can help us all achieve the kind of consensus our community is famous for. But that happens only if we feel confident that our concerns will be understood by others.

Of course, I can’t promise that they will be heeded, but I can ensure that your opinions are treated with respect and given the airing they deserve.

That’s one reason why no anonymous posts are allowed on the pages of The Current. I remember having a discussion about that with web designer Shane McCallum back in June. He said something like, “You know you’ll get more traffic if you allow them.” I said something like, “Yeah… but that doesn’t matter very much to me. I want people who have an opinion to stand behind it.” Shane got it, of course. he’s a very bright guy, just as I know the rest of the people who call Revelstoke home are pretty bright, too.

All posts to The Current are moderated. This means that when you post a comment I am automatically alerted by e-mail and I decide whether it is appropriate and whether it goes online or not. It would take a lot for me to disapprove a post. I might, for instance, decide (as I did with a post by Sharlene Foisy) to instead add her comments to Grins & Gripes, thereby ensuring better placement for her thank you note to people who helped her out. And I might, too, disqualify a comment because it is either factually wrong or — and this is the worst case! — potentially libelous. In either of those cases, I would contact the writer and tell them why their post was not allowed and then I would invite them to recheck their facts or rewrite their comments. If you’d rather send a more conventional comment by e-mail please send them to: editor@revelstokecurrent.com. And there’s always Canada Post. Typed or handwritten letters can be sent to: The Revelstoke Current, PO Box 682, Revelstoke, BC, V0E 2S0. Letters should be 400 words or less.

The Current not only welcomes short comments and letters, but longer discussions on issues of importance to our community. These guest columns can be any length but realistically they should be between 300 and 750 words. They must be sent via e-mail as Microsoft Word documents to editor@revelstokecurrent.com or provided directly to me on a CD ROM. (Due to time constraints [The Current is, after all, a one-man show in every department] I won’t accept for publication any materials [except letters from computer-challenged readers] that would require me to type them in.) Guest columns must also be accompanied by a one-line description of the writer (something like this: John Doe is a local teacher with an interest in environmental issues) and a good head-and-shoulders photo of the author in JPEG format. I’ll also need direct contact information such as an e-mail address and a phone number. Those will not be published unless the author explicitly wants them published.

The Revelstoke Current offers its readers an unparalleled opportunity for public discussion and dialogue. Let’s make the most of it. Thank you.

Please read the following stories to discover more about The Revelstoke Current: