How to talk to us
It is a long-standing newspaper tradition that the editorial pages belong as much to the public as to the people responsible for publishing them. The lion's share of the content in this space is produced by people other than us. We just provide the space.
Which means that if you don't see your opinions and perspectives published here, that's probably because you did not provide them.
That may be, in part, because there is a fair amount of confusion about how to deliver your thoughts to us.
We are - like most media companies - a multiple-platform information source, and because we recently unveiled a new, multi-faceted website marrying both the Index-Tribune and SONOMA magazine, some readers seem to be unclear about how to submit comments, letters and columns.
So here's a little help:
If you friend us on Facebook you'll find a significant amount of Index-Tribune content on our Facebook page and you can post comments on our content there. Many people do, but those comments aren't read by people not using Facebook.
A second medium of communication is our website, www.sonomanews.com, which aggregates information on news, sports, entertainment, food/wine and much more, and which allows readers to post content and comments to various channels on the website.
Reader comments on our news and opinion content provides the opportunity for community dialog and expands the variety of published opinions beyond our editorial staff.
Because anonymous online comments can degenerate into intemperate personal attacks, we now enforce a rule that anyone posting online must first register with a real name and email address.
While that rule was successful in stemming the flow of vile comments, we found it necessary to temporarily suspend the comment option altogether because of a series of changes in our website architecture leading up to the new design we are now continuing to refine.
The comment feature is now back and we invite readers to register online and begin sharing their thoughts with us.
The third option is to send us letters to the editor, submitted either through the website submission form, or addressed to email@example.com. For those still unable or unwilling to send us letters online, we will always accept hard copy brought to our office at 117 W. Napa St. or mailed to P.O. Box C, Sonoma, 95476.
For what should be obvious reasons of speed, economy and efficiency we prefer electronic submissions, but we know not everyone can or will do so.
Finally, all letters to the editor must contain a real name, address and phone number. Except in rare circumstances, we will not print letters with the name withheld, and we will never print a letter if we do not know who you are.
If your letter has not reached print, it's probably because you did not include your name, or your contact information. We have a stack of unpublished letters for which names or contact details are unknown. Addresses and phone numbers are never published.