This is your page

Published 10:55 am Wednesday, February 15, 2017

One of the most important roles of this publication and my new position as managing editor is ensuring that you, our readers, and the people across the Heart of Virginia, have a voice.

That’s what this page is about — opinion, and we want you to play a big part in it.

There are several ways you can practice your right to freedom of speech under the First Amendment; it’s one of the most wonderful aspects of my job.

Writing letters to the editor is a very common form of opinion writing. The letter, addressed to the editor, may be 250 words max and offer your thoughts on a topic of your choosing. Letters to the editor are great opportunities for brief straight-to-the-point opinion pieces.

Guest columns are 420-word pieces that offer more space for you to express your opinion. These are accompanied by a headshot of the author, along with a short bio sketch at the end and their email address, making it more personal for the reader.

Guest columns offer a great way to dive into a topic where letters to the editor may constrict writers.

Topic can vary from commendations to offering constructive criticism toward a public official or body.

While I prefer writers focus on topics of local interest rather than national or international issues, which are great too, the bottom line is that we want to hear from you.

I want your words on this page — your thoughts, feelings and opinions — and I’m here to help guide you through the process, especially if you’re nervous about writing or have never written an opinion piece before. Call me or send me an email and we’ll talk about it.

Other ways you can contribute include visiting our website at and voting in our poll, which focuses on current issues of importance. We publish those results here in every edition. I hope you’ll give me ideas for future questions for the poll.

Another way you can be a part of this page is submit a photo with names and a description for “Picture of the Week,” a place where we commend people, a group or an event or idea for its positive impact on the community. Email with submissions.

Jordan Miles is the managing editor of The Charlotte Gazette and Farmville Newsmedia LLC. His email address is