It used to be that it was very rare that we would use an editor’s note on a letter to the editor.
Our philosophy was that the reader should get their say without it looking like we were trying to have the last word. We were OK with taking our lumps.
What has changed in the past few years is that we are getting more and more letters that have incorrect information or come to conclusions based on faulty information.
In many cases, we have asked letter-writers to either provide the source of their information or to rewrite the letter so that the information is accurate.
Sometimes the logic of a letter misconstrues what we actually reported so we feel it is imperative to add an editor’s note. We know this can look like we must have the last word, but we believe our credibility is important, too.
We try to write the editor’s note in a matter-of-fact way that provides real information so that the reader can make their own judgment.