For the history of newspapers, until the internet hit and then until Facebook owned what seems every single human on earth’s attention, Letters to the Editor, were the first thing (well, after obits) that most every reader turned to when they picked up their paper.
In the world of Facebook jail and blocking friends whose views don’t agree with yours, a Letter to the Editor seems quaint. The truth is that a Letter to the Editor is a powerful tool to bring about change and to galvanize people into action. At the Pleasanton Express, your Letter to the Editor will be in our newspaper for our 6,000 plus print and E-edition readers, then shared on our social media which has an active audience of 25K plus. Aggressive fingerpointing through social media will always rule the day and I do not think it has made us a better world. Quite the opposite in fact. The sharing of a well-thought out letter to the editor published first in a credible publication, then shared via social media takes on a weight of importance that a regular social media post will never carry. Letters to the Editor are remembered. Social media posts are not unless they are the ones that damage your image. Those also can always be deleted by the person who wrote them, but a Letter to the Editor is forever. Letters to the Editor, come via email now, and that does not take away one bit from the joy and excitement they bring when we receive them. We especially love letters that tackle tough local issues and ones that give shouts out of thanks to local heroes or businesses that have gone above and beyond. We received one this week that was especially touching with its subject being former Atascosa County Emergency Management Coordinator, David Prasifka and Café Chris. Make sure and read the letter.
We received an email from Ann Gentry Smelley this week stating how impressed she was with Paul Michael Jones’ columns which are a treat each week. Ann also took the time to write about her grandson Christopher’s Reagan High School band director’s philosophy on the new school year which stated, “This year will be very different, but different doesn’t have to mean worse! There will be many positives as we explore new ways to communicate and function.”
I love that philosophy, but I am not a parent of a school-age child, so I will shut my mouth. I would love to hear from parents and teachers who would honestly share their opinions, fears, concerns, ideas, suggestions, etc. about the decision to send your child back to school. You can email me at the address below. If you want to remain anonymous, just let me know. We do not print anonymous letters, but we truly take the information to heart. You will remain forever anonymous if you ask. Your letter will be purged, too, after the information is sent. The way you feel about local matters, matters to us at the Pleasanton Express. Your opinions help guide us in the way we cover and report on stories.
There are so many hot topics in our community besides “masks or no masks” that we could be talking about in ways that help us. Some of the topics include: the importance of registering to vote, the General Election, local elections, STAAR testing, daycare safety and availability, how do you teach online school when you have to go back to work, the cost of teaching online, teachers in the world of COVID-19, unemployment, future of Atascosa County and McMullen County stock shows, future of local sports, supporting local businesses, property taxes, term limits for Congress, etc.
Write to us, please. Experiment with how you can put a Letter to the Editor to work for you or your cause.
NOEL WILKERSON HOLMES is the Publisher and Managing Editor of the Pleasanton Express. You may reach her at email@example.com.