The Nov. 20 edition of the Bryan County News included a letter to the editor that insinuated unethical behavior by several local elected officials and endorsed a candidate in the coming runoff election. As with any letter published, the opinions expressed were clearly those of the writer, not the Bryan County News.
A newspaper’s opinion page allows citizens to have a voice. However, sometimes editors find it necessary to edit letters that include unproven accusations or innuendos that can damage reputations. In such a case, the editor should discuss possible changes with the writer, and the writer can make the decision to publish the edited letter or withdraw it from publication.
That’s what should have happened last week. It did not.
Selecting government officials is a serious responsibility for all citizens, and we encourage voters to express their opinions. However, it’s important for supporters not to cross the line by making unfounded accusations. It’s just as important for us to stop them when they do.
In this case, we did not and we regret that. We should have done a better job.