Welcome to The RT. That’s The Roanoke Times RoundTable, our editorial page blog.
We want The RT to be a place for a healthy and civil dialogue among The Roanoke Times editorial page staff and the community.
In his introductory column back in 1998, retired editorial page editor Tommy Denton said of the opinion and commentary pages, “Here is where the bully pulpit and the soapbox become one, extending one of the finest and most enduring of this nation’s traditions: the raucous harmony of a free people holding forth.”
We want The RT to bring that raucous harmony to The Times’ corner of the digital world, where more people can join in, and where there is the possibility for real discussion.
We want this to be a lively, cordial place for people of contrary points of view to come explore their differences, educate themselves and others, and enjoy stimulating conversation.
In addition, The RT is home to our virtual editorial board. Readers can weigh in on editorials before we write them. After our morning editorial board meeting, we post the topics and a brief summary of the editorials we’re writing. Readers can comment and perhaps even direct us to information on the topic that we weren’t aware of.
This is your chance to get to know the editorial page staff of The Roanoke Times better and for us to learn more about you.
We hope the discussion will stimulate minds open to considering the honestly held opinions of others.
In order to facilitate a civil discussion, please keep in mind these guidelines for commenting on The RT. Comments that violate these will be deleted. Repeat violators will be banned.
Terms of Service
1. No profanity or obscenity.
2. No libel. Accusations that could harm the reputation or livelihood of an individual will only be allowed if they have been proven and are fully substantiated.
3. No plagiarism. Words taken from other sources should be clearly marked and attributed. In most cases, only a brief excerpt should be included with a link to the full text. Also, posts that consist solely of links will be deleted. The blog is for community members to discuss issues in their own words.
4. No personal attacks. Discuss issues, not the personality traits of fellow commenters. There will be more leeway for public figures, but even then the focus should be on issues, not personal attacks. Also, avoid broadside insults against entire groups with whom you disagree. Criticize issues or agendas, but avoid name-calling.
5. Try to stay on topic. We have a daily open thread where commenters can discuss whatever they want. In other cases, please try to stay on the main topic of the post.
6. Be sure to indicate clearly when you are quoting or responding directly to another comment. See this post for good practices.
7. Pick a screen name and stick with it. In order to avoid confusion or attempts of deception or sock puppetry, we request that commenters pick one screen name and use that for all posts.
8. Be polite. Ask yourself if you would use the language and tone in the comment you’re about to post if you were having a face-to-face discussion. We do not require that commenters identify themselves, but ask yourself if you would want your reputation to depend on your comments.
In summary, ask yourself this, always, before you press the “Submit Comment” button: “Does this comment add anything of value and substance to this conversation?” If you cannot answer in the affirmative, do everyone a favor and delete it.
Report abuse: If you see a comment you believe violates these guidelines, please send us an e-mail with the link to the comment (right click on the time-stamp for the comment and select, “Copy link location,” then paste that into the e-mail).