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‘Truth is incontrovertible’

Winston Churchill once said, “the truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is.”

Folks in the newspaper industry — better yet, all of us in the media — are at one time or another accused of shaping the truth. There are those who call the “mainstream media” the “liberal media” and then there are others who accuse the media of “withholding the truth” or “not telling the whole story.”

But, rarely do those generalizations find their way to a person’s hometown newspaper. For whatever reason, many look upon their hometown or community newspaper as an outlet for information other than the normal, everyday news.

We focus on the people, the places and the events that make our hometown — Suffolk and areas immediately surrounding Suffolk — such a wonderful place to live. We focus on the news that is more often than not the most important to the most people within our hometown.

And in doing so, we heavily rely on our neighbors for their input on how to constantly make their hometown newspaper better.

More times than we can count, we have received tips from our readers on great stories and criticism on things they have found questionable.

For many years, we have welcomed comments from our readers on many of our stories, columns and editorials through our website. These comments have — for a majority — offered a welcomed outlet for the community to weigh in on the stories they find interesting.

Unfortunately, that freedom has also allowed many to take what we consider unwarranted, tasteless and inappropriate shots at individuals — both public and private.

Our policies strictly limit our ability to remove questionable comments. What we feel may be out of bounds may be well within our discussion guidelines, but that doesn’t mean we like it.

As of late, the tone of some comments — and in particular some made by a group of individuals who spend their days offering inflammatory comments — has tested our patience and those of others.

Part of being the community’s newspaper is allowing everyone to have a role, allowing everyone to have a say.

This policy of inclusion does at times open us up to hearing from those with whom we strongly disagree.

In the end, our goal as Suffolk’s hometown newspaper is to always provide the truth about what is going on and ensure that anyone who wants to, as Winston Churchill said, can “attack it” and “deride it.”