Nom de plumes letters policy reinstated

Tuesday 26 January 2021 | Written by CI News Staff | Published in Local, National

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Nom de plumes letters policy reinstated

Cook Islands News is re-opening its editorial columns to letters to the editor by writers using nom de plumes as opposed to their real names.

After much consideration, Cook Islands News has decided to reinstate the policy of allowing nom de plumes on letters to the editor.

The newspaper has been bombarded with requests to review its new policy of not publishing “unsigned” letters, implemented in 2019.

Editor Rashneel Kumar said the latest decision was not an easy one, nor one they have taken lightly.

“Nom de plume opinion is one of the most popular and controversial items in the newspaper. We have been criticised of doing an ‘extreme disservice’ to democracy and the wellbeing of this community by not allowing nom de plume letters.

“There were numerous requests from our regular letter writers to review this policy.

“After much deliberation and partly to acknowledge those who have voiced their concern at the need to allow freedom of expression in the form of criticism of people of power and influence, such as politicians and bureaucrats, we have decided to again allow nom de plume names on letters to the editor.

“Fear of retribution and retaliation is very real in our society and we accept that it can inhibit people from speaking out when they want to criticise and challenge authorities.”

However, letter writers who wish to keep their identity confidential will have to adhere to strict guidelines.

Offensive language and personal attacks will not be accepted in any circumstances. The newspaper also requires writers to disclose any personal or financial interest in the subject matter of their letters.

“We still require letter writers to include their full name, address and phone number for authentication purposes, though not for publication. Letters will be fact checked.” The newspaper has also decided to resume its popular Smoke Signals column.

Comments

Angie Samuela on 27/01/2021

If I write a letter to the Editor I will put my name on it Angie Samuela