A nameless writer wasted a good letter

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The Wildwood Leader received a good letter the other day. Too bad it wasn’t signed.

Well, it was signed as from “A concerned, worried, scared, and fed up resident, taxpayer and business person.”

In it, this writer decried conditions on the Boardwalk and said police and city hall should fight lawlessness instead of each other.

It included issues that should be raised and talked about. It did not, however, include a name, and therefore will not appear in print.

That’s a shame.

While the newspaper may be willing to withhold a name in some circumstances if there is a good reason to – and fear of reprisals sounds like a pretty good reason – we at least need to know who the writer is.

It’s long been a policy at the Leader that anonymous letters will not be considered for publication. It’s a policy we plan to stick to.

Otherwise, there is too much potential for mischief, for false accusations, and too little motivation to weigh what is said and its potential impact.

Besides, a name gives weight to a letter or an opinion. A letter with a name is part of a community’s discussion. Without a name, it’s just a pot shot.

The letter was passed on to the Wildwood reporter, who was asked to see if there was anything in it that could be confirmed. It might even appear on a future letters page, if someone is willing to stand behind it and say, “That’s me. I saw this, and here’s what I think about it.”



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