This page is your page

Published 9:13 pm Saturday, March 18, 2017

One of the purposes of our newspaper’s opinion page is to give readers an outlet to express their views on the issue of their choice.

With the advent of social media, however, many opinion pages are receiving fewer letters to the editor and column submissions, because there are other avenues for people to get things off of their chest. That doesn’t mean opinion pages are less relevant than before, nor are they less important. It just means people have more options available for expressing their opinions than ever before.

A quick post on Facebook to express outrage over an issue or a 140-character tweet to share a quick thought on the topic-du-jour may be more convenient than penning a letter to the editor. But that doesn’t replace the importance of a vibrant opinion page in the local newspaper.

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Community newspapers like the Suffolk News-Herald are the water coolers of our communities. This is the place people go to find out what happened in their own neighborhoods and to share their thoughts about what they’ve learned.

An opinion page where we only express our views or those of the syndicated columnists we choose to publish is not nearly as vibrant as one where readers provide feedback of their own.

This opinion page is really your opinion page. Because we publish our own opinions and those of columnists whose views don’t necessarily reflect our own, we understand that much of what we print might run counter to what some of our readers think and believe. That is intentional.

We seek to create dialogue, not necessarily gain consensus, on any number of issues. We seek to generate discussion that reveals multiple viewpoints on important topics, not a one-sided conversation that only affirms what a reader or editor already believes.

There are plenty of outlets for those who just seek affirmation. This is not one of them.

It is in that spirit that we invite you to participate in the dialogue on this, your opinion page. If you disagree with a viewpoint expressed here, let us know. If you think we’re off the mark, let us have it. If you think our opinions are the greatest thing since tuna on rye, then a pat on the back wouldn’t hurt, either.

The point is to get involved. A well-reasoned opinion is only worthwhile once shared. The floor is yours. We invite you to take advantage of it.