Our View: Guidelines for election letters and viewpointsElection season brings with it a chance for readers and supporters of political candidates to engage in a forum in the Woodbury Bulletin’s Opinion section.
Election season brings with it a chance for readers and supporters of political candidates to engage in a forum in the Woodbury Bulletin’s Opinion section.
Along with letters and viewpoints supporting a particular candidate, the Bulletin is also receiving plenty of email from senders that points out the “flaws” in the candidates they do not support.
You should know that the Bulletin will enforce a few rules about election-related letters and viewpoints. Here are our guidelines, which have been in effect since the beginning of the election season. Please do continue to send us your opinion submissions for publication, while keeping in mind the guidelines
• Opinion pieces submitted by candidates will be limited to 500 words. Frankly, the average reader who encounters a wordy political dissertation’s sea of gray newsprint will tend to skip it altogether rather than muddle through it. Candidates will be allowed to submit one viewpoint during the election season.
• Letters regarding candidates, either pro or con, should be limited to 300 words. Correspondences of this type that exceed the limit may be edited — or rejected outright — for publication.
• All letters to the editor must include the writer’s name, address and phone number for standard verification purposes.
• In order that we may hear from as many people as possible, there will be a limit of one endorsement letter per candidate from the same writer.
• Form letters will be trashed, mainly because they’re a really lazy way to express opinions about candidates. Be original — write your own letter.
• The Bulletin will print letters the week before the election. However, if a letter intended for the Oct. 27 edition makes accusations against a candidate or party, it will not be published because there would be insufficient time for a response to appear in newsprint prior to election day.
Questions or concerns not specifically covered by these guidelines will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
We want the Woodbury Bulletin to be a venue for open, lively and fair debate on topics related to the upcoming election. Likewise, we hope these guidelines will inspire readers and candidates to write intelligent, thought-provoking letters.