By Kelsey Verboom
More than a week has passed since the provincial government announced its approval of Jumbo’s Master Development Agreement. And yet, quite shockingly, The Pioneer’s mailboxes sit barren.
Following a flurry of Letters to the Editor about the hotly debated deer cull, we braced for pages of feedback about the Jumbo decision. After all, any slight mention of the “J word” in issues past has elicited countless passionate responses.
To date, not a single letter has been received, which could mean one of a few things. 1) Everyone is OK with the government’s decision. 2) People are just plain tired of arguing the issue. 3) Readers are directing the bulk of their comments online.
Since it’s probably not the first explanation, I will venture a guess that it is the last. When the story about last week’s breaking news was posted online, dozens of people responded by writing comments on our website.
While the trend of posting comments online has increased Internet-wide during the past few years, it would be a shame if the habit replaced printed Letters to the Editor. Letters in the newspaper require signing your name to your argument, which generally elicits a more thoughtful, deliberate response, rather than spouting off anonymously in cyberspace.
Online posts are an excellent enhancement to the stories, but should be thought of separately from a good ol’ fashioned Letter (or email) to the Editor.
Another note about our website: the weekly opinion poll is to be read with a grain of salt. It is not scientific in any way, and is designed to give casual feedback to questions that vary in seriousness.
This week’s poll about Jumbo shattered our past record for responders, with more than 700 people weighing in. Since the poll began I have heard people using its results to back up “proven local opinion,” which is simply inaccurate. The poll results are sizeable, yes, but they are less hard fact and more of an indication of the Jumbo opponents’ impressive ability to organize themselves online. Please do vote on the poll and enjoy viewing the results, but don’t count them as scientific data.
Share you opinion: write in or email firstname.lastname@example.org.