Successful newspapers reflect the community they serve, and for the last three years, this publication’s journalism has focused on the Greater Boston Jewish and interfaith community. It is a product that our readers cannot find anywhere else and we are proud and grateful to write these stories.
As demographics have changed, and news about American politics, Israel and the Middle East has become readily available on cellphones, tablets and desktops, the Journal has continued to cover these subjects, but mostly on the opinion page.
In recent months, as America has become more and more polarized – and Israel as well – the Journal has received numerous letters to the editor that reflect that polarization. Most of these letters are personal opinions, and are unrelated to specific stories published in the Journal. These letters have become increasingly disturbing in tone, and accusatory against other readers who have written to question the veracity of the letters.
Traditionally, letters to the editor respond to stories that have appeared in a publication. A letter to the editor provides a voice to the reader and feedback about a story. It is not a forum, typically, for a person to solely espouse a political view or a place to endorse a political candidate or party. As a nonprofit, this publication does not endorse political candidates or political parties. While we have guest opinion writers who pen essays on our opinion page, we seek a balance of opinion – especially when it comes to U.S. politics or Israel.
As we move forward, readers should understand that the job of this newspaper is to reflect the community – and we do that by helping to define it, writing stories about your neighbors, synagogues, Jewish institutions, Jewish identity … and unfortunately, the impact of Covid and anti-Semitism. We have a limited amount of space each edition and these pages will be devoted to further coverage of your community.
Soon, the Journal will release a new letter writing policy that above all, will be based on accuracy, civility and respect. A newspaper cannot afford to have a small percentage of the community dictate its editorial policy, and there will be no place for hate and bullying to flow on these pages. It is not our mission, and our readers deserve better.