Monday, September 15, 2014

Times- Standard Gives Election Letter Guidelines

The publisher of the Times- Standard gives the guidelines as to what will and won't be accepted with letters focusing on the upcoming election. Not sure I get this part:

"First and foremost, if you're writing a letter to the editor endorsing a candidate and encouraging readers to vote for that person, you must focus on the issues. Letters for the sole purpose of expressing gratitude to a candidate or announcing a political event are not appropriate to be published as letters to the editor and would be considered paid advertising."

I've seen some letters like that in the last year or so. I know I've seen a few blog posts that fit the description. I would think there might be a fine line between "expressing gratitude" to a candidate and simply trying to point out what a great candidate someone is. We'll see how that works out.

They've changed the number of letters you can send in, too. I believe it used to be one per month. Now it's one every 21 days. Maybe it's been 21 days for longer than that? Seems to me I've seen at least a couple guy's letters recently that have shown up less than a month apart. Whatever. I'll consider that an improvement.

Lastly, the deadline for letters is October 28 but they say they'll allow letters up until Election Day to allow for rebuttals to earlier letters. Hmmm??? Wonder how that will work?

I've got one letter pretty much written and ready to send in. Now it's just a matter of deciding when to send it in.


At 3:04 PM, Blogger Rose said...

It's interesting to see a return of the 'if it runs in other papers, we won't print it' policy, which used to be a given, but has fallen by the wayside over the last 15 years.

It's also interesting that no mention is made of the comments section.

Good luck to them, they seem to be saying that, as long as you meet the guidelines, they're going to print every letter.

At 3:08 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

I know some newspapers are quite serious about not publishing letters that have been sent to other papers. The San Francisco Chronicle was one that really grilled me to make sure I hadn't sent it elsewhere. It might have been the L.A. Times that also made sure of it.

Seems to me the Times- Standard might have asked one of the last times I sent a letter in but they didn't seem as concerned as the Chronicle did.


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