FYI: Submitting a letter to the editor

April 9, 2024

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief

It is a long tradition in American journalism for readers to submit letters to the editor. These letters are opinions of the writer, a person who is not affiliated with the news organization. In fact, the opinions of those letter writers do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the news organization or its employees.

Lately, we have been receiving quite a few letters to the editor, which is a good thing. But, some who have submitted letters may not completely understand our letters to the editor policy. That policy can be found below, but I would like to highlight some of the common mistakes letter writers make.

Most importantly, you must include your name and city/township of residence and that information will be published with the letter. I often will not even look at a letter sent to me anonymously. There is no accountability to a letter sent without identifying the author. We are a news organization and, as reporters, are expected to cite our sources. If you send a letter expressing a concern over a topic, you need to be bold enough to stand behind your statements.

Also, a word about social media. Mason County Press is a news organization, it is not a social media service. We do have a social media presence, especially on Facebook. It is my opinion, as editor-in-chief and owner, that our social media pages exist to inform the reader that we have posted a story with the intent that the reader will then click the link and read the story. We have no obligation to allow comments on our Facebook pages and we have no obligation to explain why we allow or disallow comments on certain topics. Quite frankly, the main reason we disallow comments on certain topics is that we do not have time to mediate those comments on matters that we anticipate a high probability of libelous comments. Further, those who believe their opinion must be heard always have the option to write a letter to the editor.

Our letters to the editor policy is posted under the “Opinion” heading of our website’s menu and also listed below.

Thank you for being a reader of Mason County Press.


Rob Alway


Media Group 31 Letters to the Editor (Op/Ed) policy.

Media Group 31, owners of Mason County Press and Oceana County Press, encourages the submission of opinion pieces by our readers. The following guidelines have been established:

  • Letters must be submitted by email to and must be in a format that can be copied and pasted (no PDFs) — plain text, Word, Pages.
  • Letters must include the writer’s name, full mailing address, town or township of residence, and phone number. Only name and town of residence will be posted.
  • Letters must be about topics relevant to the respective county. Letter writers must reside in or have a direct connection to the county.
  • Letters endorsing a political candidate will not be posted unless the topic is related to the writer’s personal experience with that candidate.
  • Candidates are not allowed to submit a letter endorsing themselves; they do have the option of purchasing advertising.
  • Letters endorsing a ballot proposal will not be posted unless the topic is related to the writer’s personal experience with that proposal.
  • Media Group 31 reserves the right to edit letters to the editor in order to meet the Style Standards of MG 31.
  • Submissions should be sent with minimal grammatical errors. This includes proper capitalization and punctuation. Use of exclamation marks should be limited to one or two per submission. Avoid using all-caps, bolding, italicizing, or underlining to make a point.
  • When using acronyms, spell out the proper name on first reference.
  • Media Group 31 reserves the right to edit letters that may contain libelous content.
  • Use of vulgar language will not be allowed.
  • Media Group 31 reserves the right to reject any letter to the editor.


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This story and original photography are copyrighted © 2024, all rights reserved by Media Group 31, LLC, PO Box 21, Scottville, MI 49454. No portion of this story or images may be reproduced in any way, including print or broadcast, without expressed written consent.

As the services of Media Group 31, LLC are news services, the information posted within the sites are archivable for public record and historical posterity. For this reason it is the policy and practice of this company to not delete postings. It is the editor’s discretion to update or edit a story when/if new information becomes available. This may be done by editing the posted story or posting a new “follow-up” story. Media Group 31, LLC or any of its agents have the right to make any changes to this policy. Refer to Use Policy for more information.

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