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Your opinion page needs you

Discussion keeps a house alive. It cannot stand by bricks and mortar alone.”

– Margaret Schlegel

You might have already noticed that the editorial cartoons are no longer featured on this page, and for that matter, the stable of syndicated columnists — Reagan, Micek, Flowers, et al — are gone. Based on past reactions to some previous choices, some of you will likely be chilling a sparkling wine to later celebrate their departure. I have Champagne tastes, in spite of living on a cheap vodka budget, so my recommendations are Moet-Chandon or Veuve-Clicquot, but Korbel or Cooks will also taste quite fine.

As my late friend, H.R. Gray Jr., used to quote someone else, I told you that to tell you this: We’re working toward creating as local an editorial page as possible, and that’s where you come in.

If you have a yen to speak your mind beyond private conversations in your head or the vociferous open platform of social media, then A2 is for you.

You might say, “But no one reads newspapers anymore.” Were that so, then I would not be here writing these words imploring you for contributions of your thoughts. True, the work of journalism for the past many years has been enduring the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, not the least of which is this COVID-19 pandemic. But those of us in the craft carry on.

You can wax eloquent on nearly any issue you please, but with it comes the responsibility of not merely writing coherently, but also accurately and yes, even tastefully.

By coherence, we mean no rambling. If you have a point to make, do so. By accuracy, back up your statements with facts. By taste, no name calling. We don’t want to be sued for libel, and neither would you.

Let me also direct you to the notice lower left-hand corner — Share your views — which gives further details about submitting columns and letters. I want to put particular emphasis that we respectfully request that columns, like letters, be submitted via email. Send to Editor@TheTidewaterNews.com.

STEPHEN H. COWLES is a staff writer at this paper. Contact him at either 562-3187, ext. 314 or, better still, at Stephen.Cowles@TheTidewaterNews.com.