The newspaper has had some long-standing rules, like we don’t allow the letters section to be used as a forum between an unhappy customer and a place of business. We only accept letters from people who are current or past residents of Richmond County. You can’t write a letter longer than 300 words.. Letters must be signed with a verifiable local address.
During campaign season, we also limit what can and can’t be said about a political candidate. In the past the mud-slinging has gotten way out of hand. So we pretty much adopted a policy that your Mom might enjoy. “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”
It sounds simple enough, but what if a reader writes in regard to a specific issue raised in a news story? As with any rule, there are grey areas.
I failed when it came to a letter we published on Saturday involving Jesse McQueen, a Hamlet city councilman and candidate for mayor.
It shouldn’t have been published. We will offer Mr. McQueen a chance to respond to it.
And to you, our readers, I apologize.