Writ­ers should cite sources for let­ters

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum -

With the gen­eral elec­tion quickly ap­proach­ing, I would like to present a chal­lenge to your read­ers: ref­er­ences. You know, sup­port­ing in­for­ma­tion for a claim a writer makes in his/her let­ter for the ed­i­to­rial page.

Al­though a few years have passed since I did so reg­u­larly, I have writ­ten many let­ters to this pa­per. Most were pub­lished. Many in­cluded ref­er­ences where my state­ments were backed up. I did this for two rea­sons: first, they served as notes to re­fer to while I wrote the let­ters over a pe­riod of a few days. It en­abled me to go straight to my source when I re­turned to my com­puter to write those let­ters. Sec­ond, it was a courtesy I pro­vided to the ed­i­tors, in case they ac­tu­ally wanted to check my claims.

It’s been said that one is en­ti­tled to his own opin­ions but not his own facts. With this in mind, I chal­lenge your let­ter con­trib­u­tors to pro­vide web­sites as reference ma­te­rial for any claims that are be­ing made in their let­ters. I also chal­lenge the In­de­pen­dent to in­clude those links in the on­line post­ings of the let­ters.

Due dili­gence de­mands that we research our rea­sons for sup­port­ing a can­di­date or dis­lik­ing an­other. It’s what’s best for our coun­try. I doubt most do — and that’s their pre­rog­a­tive. But vot­ing by emo­tion is not nec­es­sar­ily what’s best for any­one; it’s strictly cathar­sis. Cathar­sis is good — un­less it re­sults in peo­ple be­ing hurt phys­i­cally, emo­tion­ally or eco­nom­i­cally. So I chal­lenge any fu­ture con­trib­u­tors to this fo­rum to pro­vide read­ers with as much in­for­ma­tion as pos­si­ble for your claims. And I chal­lenge the Mary­land In­de­pen­dent to research the let­ters and to post the links you will hope­fully in­clude.

For those of you read­ing this let­ter, there will be no web links in­cluded in its on­line post­ing.

David Kan­ter, Hugh­esville

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