In my view - Letter a big talking point

Monday was a dark, gloomy and wet day - weather that suited my mood as I returned to work after a week’s annual leave.

I didn’t sleep well at the weekend as I couldn’t take my mind off of a poem - and the fallout from that poem - that was printed in last week’s Mearns Leader.

I’ll get this boring bit out the way: letters submitted to the Leader and the Deeside Piper are not the views of this publication. Just because a letter is printed it does not mean that the Leader, Piper or anyone working here agrees with it.

It is not our job to agree and disagree with letters sent to us by readers. If we omitted a letter because we disagree, it would be a terrible case of censorship.

I imagine that if someone submitted a letter and we told them we didn’t agree with it and therefore were not publishing it, they would be upset and angry.

Our approach to letters that are sent in is that, generally, we print what we receive providing there is space. The poem was one person’s opinion and they have the right to submit it to us for publication.

I do not believe that printing this letter caused ‘shame’ on the paper.

I will state again that letters submitted are not the opinion of the publication, but are of those who have submitted them.

I was also deeply upset to hear people assuming and suggesting that someone at the Leader wrote that poem.

I will put everyones mind at ease, no one here wrote that poem. Those who are regular readers here and each week will have seen the support we gave Stonehaven’s Christmas tree and the volunteers involved in the weeks leading up to the switch on. The amazing work people in the community do should be celebrated. I was at the Christmas light switch on, giving up my time as I was on annual leave. I absolutely loved it and thought everyone did a fantastic job.

This is not an excuse for not printing any pictures and for that we are sorry. I had the week off and my colleagues who have been stretched this past week did a sterling job of putting out a number of titles.

Please understand that the omission of any pictures was not done intentionally or with malicous intent, as suggested by some on social media.

Words are a powerful tool and I don’t mind admitting that I had to be comforted by my better half on Sunday morning/afternoon after reading social media and words directed at the Leader and our staff.

I am a month into my new role and yes some silly mistakes have been made on my part but hand on heart I can say I am trying my hardest.

I try my best to champion volunteers in our community each and every week as I understand the sacrifices that are made to get projects like the Christmas tree, parade and switch on done.

I went on record two weeks ago thanking all those involved in the tree for all their hard work, dedication and Christmas spirit. This is why the comments I read on social media were hard to read and to be brutally honest, they were soul destroying to get my head around.

Readers are more than welcome to let their views be known in the community, but I would note that others in the community have the right to reply and disagree with it.