Shadowproof recently conducted a survey of readers and asked if people would like to see the launch of a “Letters to the Editor” section to help make Shadowproof a more vibrant community. Overwhelmingly, readers wanted to see the creation of such a column.
For well over a century, press organizations have created space for writings from citizens. It is one of the best traditions in the history of the press (as long as published letters aren’t marginalized as “Complaints Of Readers” or something like that). And, it promotes democracy.
I wrote letters to the editor to my local newspaper, the South Bend Tribune, in Indiana, when I was in high school and college. Seeing my letters published by a media organization meant a lot because it helped convince me that what I had to say mattered. It also helped me sharpen my ability to make a clear and concise argument in support of my viewpoint.
Here is one example of a letter I wrote after I saw Michael Moore’s documentary, “Sicko,” in 2007. As you may be able to tell, I was passionate and eager to awaken people to what Medicare For All could do for this country. I even mentioned the piece of legislation people could demand their representatives support.
Americans face a failed private insurance system that puts profits ahead of its patients and the only solution is socialized medicine such as Canada, Britain, and France use. This system would require no money from patients in need of care and would pay for itself because the bureaucracy that currently exists with HMOs would be eliminated. Much of it would be paid for if we ended the mess in Iraq and used funds from the war for saving lives here at home.
We are all in the same boat. No matter what our differences are, we sink or swim. People in other countries take care of each other no matter what they disagree on. And if they’ve found a better way to take care of each other, why can’t we use it? Those countries with better health care live in a world of “we” instead of “me.”
Powerful forces hope we never get it right and start thinking in terms of “we” because this way they can keep us under their choke hold. It’s time to remove the choke hold and demand that H.R. 676, a bill for universal free health care, is passed. We can do this, America. We can live better.
I appreciated the “Letters to the Editor” section and enjoyed seeing what fellow citizens were thinking.
In the age of the Internet, I wonder if citizens are so used to being able to express themselves on Twitter, Facebook, or comments threads that they see no value in “Letters to the Editor” anymore. So, let us see if that is the sad reality in 2016.
Every Saturday morning, Shadowproof will publish a collection of letters from readers. These writings will be from Shadowproof members, readers, and grassroots voices, who are not journalists or freelance writers.
The letters can be about anything, but in particular, Shadowproof is interested in what is happening in your community. What struggles or issues are making headlines? Are you involved in any activism to fight against social injustice in your community? Or are you closely following people who are engaged in struggle?
We also welcome any letters you may have on topics or issues you are following in the news, and we appreciate any letters you may have on the journalism and commentary you read at Shadowproof.
It is recommended that your letter be no longer than 500-700 words.
If you would like to have your “Letter to the Editor” published, please send your writing to: firstname.lastname@example.org