Are you being reincarnated as the Albuquerque Journal? Your invitation for letters only from organizations sounds like their de-facto letters page policy. Many of us who belong to groups don't pretend to represent those groups in our opinions.
Your letters page was more fun without this attempt at establishment respectability. For that matter, I remember when the Journal and the Tribune were more interesting, before their letters editors got so milquetoast and stodgy.
We understand where you’re coming from. We want more letters too! Letters help us out in a lot of ways. First, they let us know if people are actually reading the paper, which I would put in our top two goals. The second goal is to know if what we’re writing is important and resonates with our readers. There’s really no point in us putting out a paper full of content if no one finds that the content isn’t right for them. In that vein, letters also help us. They let people sound off on what we’re publishing and how it affects them, how it makes them feel, how it supports or changes their views on the things happening in Albuquerque.
Weekly Alibi has definitely undergone changes in the past, and now, arguably more than ever, we’re doing it again. Our intention was never to take away the letters section. It was one of our favorite things to read, even if it was Gonzales Gonzales tearing into whatever news piece we put out that stood against his ideals of a better world. But with being off the stands for three months, we had a drought of letters to work with. When more letters come in, we promise to publish them (within reason) and give every one of our readers a chance to be heard. We’re nothing without the people who pick up a paper every week, and giving them an avenue to speak is just as important as giving any of our staff the same.
Which leads us to Town Square. We know we don’t have the capacity to cover everything, nor do we have the particular backgrounds or insights to write about certain topics. We want to give those who do the chance to be heard. Our motto has always been “Support the underdog” and there are organizations and groups that have important messages that need to be heard. We want to do justice to their messages and feelings, and that’s what created Town Square. This is a chance for groups in the city to speak up about stories that matter to them, and for us to offer them the space to comprehensively cover it. We keep it seperate from letters because, honestly, they aren’t comparable. Town Square is where news and opinion meet, allowing us to give a real space to people who don’t normally have one.
Letters and Town Square aren’t going anywhere. They luckily are allowed to occupy two separate pieces of the paper. We want to continue offering that option to others and keeping things strange, fresh and fun while also informative and compassionate. As we keep changing and growing, we aim to stay the paper you love. We want to cover the serious topics while also keeping light and enjoyable content that people know and read us for. We promise not to become too stodgy or milquetoast in the future.
We guess what we’re trying to say is, we love the letters, keep them coming.
Letters should be sent with the writer’s name, address and daytime phone number via email to email@example.com. They can also be faxed to (505) 346-0660. Letters may be edited for length and clarity, and may be published in any medium; we regret that owing to the volume of correspondence we cannot reply to every letter. Word count limit for letters is 300 words.