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Lost letters due to technological glitch | Editorial
Technology has made our lives so much more convenient. From the Internet, to smartphones, to desktop computers and beyond, technology is all around us. Everyone loves technology - until it fails.
For journalism, it has been good and bad. For most issues, information that used to take days and even weeks to get a hold of is now just an email to the right person or a Google search away. Pounding away on a typewriter, erasing or whiting out words, have all been replaced by the clicking sounds of a keyboard. News tips are now just a Tweet away.
Receiving editorial page content has been made just as easy. Some people still believe in handwriting a letter to the editor, but most people find the editor’s email and send him or her their thoughts digitally.
The Bothell/Kenmore Reporter newspaper even has a tab on its website under the “Contact Us” tab at the top right corner of the web page. One click and a reader is given a digital form to express their thoughts to the community.
We take this function of the paper very seriously. It is the place where residents of Bothell and Kenmore can express their views on anything. It is your place to give feedback to the respective municipalities, the school district, the job we are doing or anything else that you would like to share with the community. It is a place for residents to directly connect with the community in which they live.
The letters to the editor section is always full during election season. From May through the middle of September, we thought it was odd what we only received a letter or two at most about this year’s election. After all, Kenmore had three seats involved in the primary and Bothell had one. Nonetheless, we received some. We also did not receive inquiries about the editorial section, until about two weeks ago.
One of our readers and a very engaged citizen, Bill Roetcisoender of Kenmore, called us to ask why his letter had not been printed, again. We had received this same inquiry from Roetcisoender earlier this summer. We were not sure why we had not received Roetcisoender’s letter but had received letters from other readers. Back in July, we gave Roetcisoender an alternate email and received his letter. We checked the system in July and did an audit of our letters received via email and via USPS and everything checked out.
But in response to his latest call, we asked our IT Department to audit everything we received through our website. We found that submissions through the letter to the editor tab were blocked somehow from getting to our email inboxes.
We found that there were six letters we did not receive or print since June because of this issue. We want to sincerely apologize to those who took the time to write us and express their opinions in the pages of the paper.
We also want to apologize to readers who were not exposed to those differing ideas and opinions. We have made an extra effort this week to publish all of the aforesaid letters in print and online.
If anyone has written a letter to the Reporter and has not seen it posted, please let us know so we can rectify the issue.
We take our editorial section very seriously and know that a measure of trust, along with freedom of speech and honesty, goes along with all of our pages, including the editorial page.
We hope that this will not discourage citizens from expressing their views through our website and in the pages of the Reporter.
The issues with the website have been resolved and we look forward to hearing your views on all things Bothell and Kenmore. If you ever send a letter to the editor and do not see it on the website or in the Reporter pages within two issues please call us or email us directly. Thank you.