Letters to the Editor

Anonymity cheapens speech

I would like to say bravo to the choice of moving to a Facebook linked comment section at www.whidbeynewstimes.com. I have not had a chance to read the news lately and was pleasantly surprised to see the new comments section.

Oddly enough, quite a few readers’ comments were negative to the change. A fair amount seemed to say that it was an end to free speech and that many people who have commented anonymously in the past say they will no longer comment. Why is that?

Freedom of speech is cherished in this country and as any reader of this paper knows, I have my opinions and have on occasion engaged in some very lively debates. I have appreciated all of them and some have changed my view of certain topics, but I take pride in never having done them anonymously. The ability to speak our minds publicly should be valued and having the need to opine from behind a mask of anonymity cheapens the right of free speech we have.

I doubt any of us expressing our opinions here at the Whidbey News-Times are in the federal witness protection program or seeking shelter as a whistle-blower.

If you chose not to speak without anonymity, I feel it cheapens the dedication to your ideals, your voice will not be heard, and you will be missed in this forum.

A right not exercised is a right lost.

Ken Jenzen
Oak Harbor


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