August 10, 2009
Dear Forum Posters:
This is in reaction to requests for changes in the Forum format/policy. Permit me to clarify and state our position on the issues raised.
The Forum was started with one thought – to provide Pangasinenses a venue for their thoughts whatever their orientation, social status, level of education, religion, political affiliation and places of residence. Pangasinenses are encouraged to submit posts whether in the local dialect or English and we assist by editing as much for clarity. The Forum is there for all Pangasinenses to share and to learn from.
With that in mind, it cannot, therefore, have a semblance of exclusivity.
We do distinguish and separate mere social greetings from opinion and commentaries but when the “greeting” topic involves an alert from a Pangasinense who needs help, it must find a place in the Forum as well.
While we totally agree that accountability is paramount, we can only go to the extent of validating email addresses which all Forum posters have access to should these be requested. This means the accountability we set rests with posters being accessible to all Forum posters, where a poster can expect a reaction directly from a fellow poster via email. Besides, there is no easy mechanism by which we can ascertain whether submitted full names are true or fake. In fact, we have rejected a number of postings that bore full names but do not have valid emails leading us to believe that the submitted names are fake all together.
The regularity with which several posters and Kabaleyan members submit their reactions and comments is a big plus for PUNCH Forum readers. We are certain that the frequent exchange among them serve to affirm and corroborate what others, including those who are not inclined to write, believe in and thereby enrich everyone’s knowledge of the issues. For this, Forum readers and the PUNCH are truly grateful. Their intelligent and witty discourse certainly raises the level of discussion.
In the same vein, we also reiterate our appeal to Forum posters to refrain from resorting to name-calling for it does not serve any purpose except lead to more name-calling and worse, discourage others to participate in the dialogue. Let us argue and disagree on issues but in respecting others’ views alone, we encourage others to stay focused on the issues, not dwell on personalities. It serves the purpose of the Forum to encourage other voices to be heard. As a matter of policy, PUNCH encourages divergent views, particularly on issues of local governance. We leave it to readers to decide who and what to believe and support.
What the Forum is not is a forum for foreign political, religious and showbiz issues that are not relevant to life in Pangasinan and to being a Pangasinense.
Salamat ed panonawa yo!