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The Importance Of Speaking Out

I could not agree more with “Express Yourself — Concisely” (Editorial — May 28 – June 3). The Great Neck Record has consistently offered readers a chance to speak out. Weekly newspapers tend to offer more space for writers than daily newspapers. Some daily newspapers have quotas of no more than one letter every 30 or 60 days per writer.
Being a prolific letter writer doesn’t always guarantee publication on a regular basis by anyone. It helps to have a snappy introduction, good hook, be timely, precise, have an interesting or different viewpoint to increase your odds of being published. You have always welcomed letters commenting on your own editorials, articles or previously published letters to the editor.
We continue to be fortunate to live in one of the few remaining free societies, with a wealth of information sources available. Sadly, most American cities and suburbs are down to one local daily or weekly newspaper. Newspapers have to deal with increasing costs for newsprint, delivery and distribution along with reduced advertising revenues and declining readership.
Many of us have opinions on news not only from Washington, and Albany but also neighborhoods and local issues which impact our communities and daily lives.
I continue to be grateful that the Great Neck Record along with other daily and weekly newspapers afford both me and my fellow letter to the editor writers the opportunity to express our views, as well as differing opinions on issues of the day. Thanks to you, ordinary citizens have the freedom to comment on the actions and legislation of elected officials in any Letters to the Editor section. Public officials use taxpayers dollars to promote their views, via mass mailings of newsletters, news releases, letters to the editor and guest opinion page columns. In many cases, they are produced or written by campaign or office staffers who are paid for by taxpayers. The rest of us have limited time to submit a letter. In the marketplace of ideas, let us hope there continues to be room for everyone, including the Great Neck Record and all other Anton Community Newspapers. Let us thank those few brave souls who are willing to take on the establishment and powerful special interest groups in the pages of your letters to the editor section. They fill a valuable niche in the information highway.
Please join me along with your neighbors in reading your favorite local weekly community newspapers. Patronize their advertisers; they provide the revenues necessary to keep them in business. Let them know you saw their ad. This is what helps keep our neighbors employed, the local economy growing and provide space on a daily and weekly basis for your favorite or not so favorite letter writers.
Larry Penner