EDITORIAL

Forget social media — best writers are right here

Posted

Back in the days of David and Celia Stein, there were two ways you could share your opinion with the masses. You could step out on your balcony and yell as loud as you could, or you could write a letter to the editor, and have it published in The Riverdale Press.

From that Stein power couple, to the Stein brothers of Buddy and Richie, to the fantastic Richner family that runs things today, The Press has always resisted what so many of the city’s biggest newspapers do — limit the voice of its readers. Instead, we have always embraced an open forum. As long as you’re civil and not treating this space like a Yelp review, we will go out of our way to ensure your thoughts and opinions reach the thousands of eyeballs they deserve.

A lot of that changed around 2009 when social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter became household names. Now you didn’t have to shout from your balcony, or write a letter to the editor. Social media gave you a chance for instant publication and distribution.

The problem, however, is that unless you were one of the very rare people to have your opinion go viral, your thoughts and words were limited to just your close circle of friends.

Some may have predicted social media would be the death of journalistic institutions like the Opinion page. But not so at The Riverdale Press. And that’s thanks to fantastic readers like you.

You may not always agree with what’s written here — in fact, you could even be offended. But then again, if free speech was all about protecting words we agreed with, there would be no need for the First Amendment. Instead, free speech is about supporting not only the right for people we agree with to speak, but also for those we don’t agree with.

Over the past year, we welcomed 277 unique authors — the most since 2009 — publishing more than 173,000 words (the most since, well, we can’t even tell you how far back that goes) in just under 400 total submissions.

More than a third of those submissions were from readers responding either to stories found in the paper, or the letters we print right here on these pages. We hear from elected (and non-elected) leaders like Councilman Eric Dinowitz, U.S. Rep. Jamaal Bowman, outgoing New York City schools chancellor Meisha Porter, state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi and Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz.

Then there are our regular writers like Michael Gold, Alvin Gordon, Miriam Levine Helbok, Alan Saks, Adam Stoler, Judith Veder, Deborah Wallace and Richard Warren, who have combined to write more than 50 submissions this year. And if we didn’t limit writers to once every six weeks or so, they may have published more.

No matter how often you write, we thank you. Opinion pages are only as good as its writers. And we here at The Riverdale Press have the best.

Adolfo Abreu, Mark Ahearn, Rhoda Alben-Aronson, Miriam Allen, Don Appel, Bridget Kelso Anthony, Peter Charles Arbeeny.

Anna Bakmezian, Samoy Bartley, Susan Bear, Jane Bedell, Jessica Bellamy, Bob Bender, John Benfatti, Zachary Berman, Leslie Bernstein, Alessandra Biaggi, Joe Bialek, Ira Bigeleisen, Pauline Binder, Hannah Blank, Ariya Blitz, Don Bluestone, Sylvia Blumenfeld, Debbie Boucher, Jamaal Bowman, Janelle Bradshaw, Brenda Breen, James Bryan, Stephen Budihas.

Fernando Cabrera, Ian Callender, John Canny, David Carlson, Moira Carroll, Ellen Chapnick, Stuart Chen-Hayes, Noah Chidoub, Dave Chokshi, Stephanie Coggins, Ira Coleman-Palansky, Barbara Connolly, Elizabeth Cooke-Levy, Dalwin Corcino.

Margaret Danishefsky, Wendy Darwell, Jeff Daube, James Davis, Karen Davis, Carol De Angelo, Lou Deholczer, Genesis Jose De La Cruz, Roxanne Delgado, Eric Dinowitz, Jeffrey Dinowitz, Michele Disco, Giselle Dixon, Sue Dodell, Debbi Dolan, Victoria Dolan.

Adrian Edwards-Smith, Edward Eiseman, Josh Eisen, Jonah Eisman, Rob Eisman, Cynthia Elmas, Nicky Enright, Stewart Epstein, Yesibel Espinal, Judith Esterquest, Irene Estrada, Barbara Estrin, Steven Exler.

Nicholas Fazio, Richard Feldman, Barbara Ferber, Nathalia Fernandez, Perla Fernandez, Theodore Fettman, Betty Figueroa, Jose Figueroa, Jennifer Firestone, Abigail Fisher, Judy Fletcher, Jessica Flores, Atara Fobar, Charles Fogelman, Elizabeth Forel, David Frankel, Rita Freed, Ezra Friedlander, Betsy Friedman, Stephen Friedmann.

Benjamin Galynker, Robin Ganzert, Derek Garrison-Bedell, Isaac Geld, Bonnie Geller-Geld, Steve Gleit, Michael Gold, Yadhira Gonzalez-Taylor, Jerry Goodman, Mimi Goodman, Alvin Gordon, Jack Gorman, Terry Graves, Steve Greenbaum, Josh Greenfield, Manny Grossman, John Gunn.

Jessica Haller, Lois Harr, Katherine Hawkins, Miriam Levine Helbok, William Heneghan, Jerome Henkin, Leslie Hogan, Ariana Holback, Blair Horner, Angel Huerta, Sara Hurwitz, Avrum Hyman, Julie Hyman.

Heather Irobunda, Sura Jeselsohn, Steven Kaen, Bernie Katzman, Mindy Katzman, Mary Kennedy, Sasha Kesler, Stacy Kinlock-Sewell, Abraham Kleinman, David Knapp, G. Oliver Koppell, Jerald Kreppel.

Chris Lake, Hillel Landman, Daniel Langer, Jada Lebron, Victoria Levitsky, Jerome Levkov, Frank Levy, Ian Levy, Dov Linzer, Daniel Lipsman, Rebecca Lish, Claire Lobel, Samelys Lopez, Mino Lora.

Christopher MacAlpine-Belton, Harold Maio, James Mann, Jack Marth, Abigail Martin, Felix Martinez, Ricardo Martinez, Yahannis Martinez, Judy Matthews, Evy Mayer, Birk McCaffrey, Kathleen McGlade, William McGuinn, Damian McShane, Helen Meltzer-Krim, Sara Minsky, Charles Moerdler, Jeffrey Moerdler, Helen Morik, Andrew Moss, Henry Moss, Mary Frances Moss, Andrew Mutnick.

David Neustadt, Lisa Newcombe, Margaret Nolan, Michael O’Brien, Vivian Oleen, Louise Ortega, Jeffrey Otto.

Dan Padernacht, Judy Patrick, Ken Paulson, Larry Penner, Diane Perillo, Anchelle Perl, Isabella Persico, Paul Petrick, Jake Pickering, Stan Popovich, Meisha Porter, Elchana Poupko, Keith Powers, Sarina Prabrasi, Ray Pultinas.

Elliot Rabin, Willy Ramirez, Ann Rauch, Daniel Reingold, Dean Ridings, Natalie Robins, John Rodriguez, Gene Roman, Lillian Rosengarten, Elizabeth Rosenthal, Samuel Rosenthal, Elaine Ruiz Lopez, Barbara Rubenstein.

Alan Saks, Sam Samuels, Sue Sawyer, Jennifer Scarlott, Phil Schatz, Stan Scher, Bart Schiavo, Deborah Schiavo, Saul Scheinbach, Adele Schwartz, Eric Seiff, Kami Seligman, Maayan Seligsohn, Stephen Sheppard, Elizabeth Sherman, Steve Siegelbaum, Marcos Sierra, George Silos, Mitchell Silver, Ollie Silverthorne, Heidi Slatkin, David Smelin, Cathy Smith, Joseph Smith, Patricia Smith, Kathy Solomon, Eytan Stanton, Aaron Stayman, Bernard Stein, Richard Stein, Gillian Steinberg, Danny Steiner, Adam Stoler, Carol Stricker, Hugh Sullivan.

Andrea Tekirian, Cheryl Teplitzky, Kenneth Thorpe, Sara Tirschwell, Matthew Toribio, Gary Trachten, Ellen Tremper, Andrew Upton.

Judith Veder, Sergio Villaverde, Jim Wacker, Deborah Wallacee, Richard Warren, Howard Wasserfall, Paul Waxman, Hank Weber, Norman Wechsler, Ron Wegsman, Nat Weiner, Avi Weiss, Jeffrey Wiesenfeld, Michael Wilder, Ariana Williams, Dana Williams, Elizabeth Wilson, Michael Wise, Lawrence Wittner, Paul Wolf, Peter Wolf, David Wuchinich.

Ed Yaker, Marcia Yerman, Kip Zegers, Jahzel Zschocher.

Have an opinion? Share your thoughts as a letter to the editor. Make your submission to letters@riverdalepress.com. Please include your full name, phone number (for verification purposes only), and home address (which will not be published). The Riverdale Press maintains an open submission policy, and stated opinions do not necessarily represent the publication.

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