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Letters to the editor

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Photo source: Flickr.com; some rights reserved by moesewco

Have an opinion? Write a letter to the editor at The Bartlett Express. We want to know what you think about city activities, your pet peeves or wishes, notes of thanks, or your comments on broader state, national, or global topics.

All views, respectfully presented, are welcome at The Bartlett Express.

Conversation guidelines

Letters should follow these guidelines:

  • Be original. Letters must be the original work of the letter writer. Also, letters that are exclusive to our newspaper are preferred.
  • Avoid repetition. Your letter should uniquely represent your viewpoint and not simply be an echo of other previously published letters. Writers may be limited on the frequency of their letters being published if space is limited.
  • Keep it short. Letters of 150-400 words are preferred, and longer letters may be shortened or may be considered for publication as a guest column instead of as a letter to the editor. If you write on the longer side, we suggest including a head-and-shoulders photo of you that will be used if we publish your writing as a column.
  • Own your opinions. Any letters considered for publication should include the writer’s real name and city for publication. The Express typically does not agree to publish anonymous letters. It should also be noted that opinions expressed are those of the letter writers; publication should not be taken as this newspaper’s endorsement of a particular view. The newspaper’s goal of letter publication is to stimulate discussion.
  • Use full disclosure. Do you have a personal or business connection to the subject you’re writing about? Spill the beans. Readers should be able to judge your credibility and motivation.
  • No imposters. Include your full name, complete street address, daytime telephone number, and email address for verification purposes. (Only your name and town will be published unless you specifically authorize otherwise.)
  • Keep it clean and kind. No swearing and no libel will be permitted. Letters should be free of bigotry, hate speech, personal attacks, abuse or harassment, obscenities and vulgarities.
  • Be aware of content guidelines. With rare exceptions, the Express does not publish poetry, consumer complaints, or letters motivated by a potential or pending legal action.
  • Keep it relevant. The best letters are very local, although your comments on state, national, and global themes are also welcome. For broader themes, try to personalize them by relating the topic to yourself or this locality. For space reasons, letters by current or former residents of our coverage area (Bartlett, Arlington and Lakeland, Tenn.) get preferential consideration.
  • Proofread it. The original writer is responsible for his/her letter, but we reserve the right to edit for length, clarity, civility, spelling, punctuation, grammar, style, and accuracy. Upon your request, the edited version will be sent to you before publication.
  • Keep it timely. If you are writing in response to an article in the paper, try to respond within one to two weeks of its publication.
  • No email viruses, please. If emailing your letter, you MUST paste it into the body of a plain-text email rather than sending it as an attachment.
  • Consider doing a video response. If you’re a fan of appearing in front of a webcam instead of writing a letter, send a link or attach the original video, along with permission to publish the video clip in our site’s online opinion section. Submissions should be no more than 5 minutes long.

Where to send your letters

  • Hand deliver to: The Bartlett Express, 2850 Stage Village Cove, No. 5, Bartlett, Tenn.
  • Mail to: The Bartlett Express, attn: Letter to the Editor, P.O. Box 34967, Bartlett, TN 38184-0967.
  • Email to: carolyn.bahm@journalinc.com with the subject as “Letter to the Editor/Bartlett” or “Guest column/Bartlett.”
  • Fax to: (901) 529-7687 with the subject as “Letter to the Editor/Bartlett” or “Guest column/Bartlett.”

Rights and responsibilities

We reserve the right to suspend users and/or remove posts and/or comments that, in our judgment, infringe on other users’ ability to enjoy our opinion pages.

Letter writers, columnists and commenters are solely responsible for their submitted contributions. The Bartlett Express is not responsible for your opinion-page submissions; however, the newspaper has the right (but not the obligation) to review, screen, delete, edit and/or move any submissions (a) that we deem, in our sole discretion, to be in violation of the guidelines or (b) that we choose to address for any other reason, as determined in The Bartlett Express’s sole discretion.

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