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.

We offer two ways for our readers to make their voices heard.

Letters to the Editor

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 and we encourage you to add your own voice.

Letters to the editor can also be a response to a column, editorial or letter to the editor that we’ve run.

Have a strong response, whether in agreement or disagreement, with something we ran? Write it up as a letter to the editor and send it our way.

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• We do not publish form letters or third-party submissions.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

Guest Column

Got more to say? Consider submitting it as a guest column.

While we try and cap letters to the editor at 500 words, guest columns can go beyond 500.

Guest columns include a headshot and allow for more space.

The same guidelines that apply to letters to the editor apply to guest columns.

• The guest columns not the place for business complaints or to air domestic issues.

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

Sometimes when we run a letter to the editor or guest column, 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.

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 copy at 211 N. Tift Ave. in Tifton.

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