Brainerd Dispatch online commenters often keep us honest. While the tone of certain contributors can be a bit snarky and other statements provoke a little head-scratching, we look at the comments just as other readers do.
On more than one occasion, online commenters have spotted that a Reader Opinion writer has lifted an opinion off the Internet, sometimes word for word. While we make an effort to guard against this plagirism, such transgressions do slip by on occasion. In addition, if we spot a statement that we know is patently untrue we’ll eliminate it. Unfortunately, there are many statements that fall into that gray area.
We want to be clear with our readers. We value your opinions and want to share them with others. We don’t even mind if you comment on an item that you saw on the Internet. Please, however, give us your opinion in your own words. Many of the often-circulated emails and opinions found on various websites aren’t as clever or as astute as the original thoughts of our readers.
And if we ask you if you wrote your Reader Opinion, we’re not asking if you typed it up yourself. We want to assure ourselves the idea and the phrasing behind the opinion are yours. There’s a reason we call our letters to the editors Reader Opinions and not Internet Opinions.