Part of a newspaper’s job is to provide an open forum where our readers can have public, open debate and civil discourse on important issues in our community.

One way we provide that is through our “letters to the editor.”

We want to share your opinions in letters to the editor.

The Tifton Gazette encourages its readers to submit letters to the editor and help create public dialogue on the things that matter to you.

In the last year, we’ve published a wide variety of letters to the editor that covered a number of issues both local and national.

From debates about immigration and national politics to local discussions about SPLOST votes and area festivals, our readers have shared their voices.

We encourage you to add your own voice.

Share your strong opinions with us and our readers.

A few quick guidelines:

• The letters to the editor section of the newspaper is not the place for business complaints or to air domestic issues.

• Letters should be civil, not contain libelous statements and, of course, we will not publish anything that is racist, sexist, homophobic or that contains expletives.

• We do not publish form letters or third-party submissions.

• Letters should be relatively short and to the point, keeping to our 500 words or less limit.

Got more to say? Consider submitting it as a guest column. Guest columns include a headshot and allow for more space.

Sometimes when we run a letter to the editor, we’re contacted by people who disagree with the letter and they question why we ran it at all.

Our job as a newspaper isn’t to silence voices. Our job is to create a public space for conversation and for debate.

Letters to the editor aren’t the opinion of the newspaper. We don’t endorse them and we don’t agree or disagree with them.

What we do endorse is open discourse.

What we agree with is freedom of speech.

If you read a letter to the editor and strongly disagree with it, we encourage you to write your own letter talking about why and send it to us.

The voices and opinions of all our readers are important.

Letters must contain your actual name, city of residence, email address or telephone number for confirmation purposes.

While telephone numbers and addresses will not be published, your real name and city of residence will be published.

You can submit a letter by email, traditional mail or simply drop it off at our office.

Letters to the Editor can be sent to Tifton Gazette editor stuart.taylor@gaflnews.com.

Email letters to: stuart.taylor@gaflnews.com.

Mail letters to: The Tifton Gazette, P.O. Box 708, Tifton, GA 31793.

Or, you can simply stop by the office with a typed or hand-written copy (please print) at 211 N. Tift Ave. in Tifton.

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