Here are the rules and suggestions for submitting letters to the editor and guest columns:
This year, to accommodate as many letters as possible, we put in a strict word limit of 250 words for regular letters to the editor. Shorter letters are preferred and have a better chance of getting in more quickly. Letters longer than 250 words will be sent back to the writer for shortening, which will delay publication.
Emailed submissions and submissions through our website, www.dailygazette.com, are preferred so that we don’t have to retype the letters. But we still welcome letters sent by traditional mail or fax.
Please include your name and community for publication, as well as a phone number and email address for verification. Contact information and street addresses will not be published.
Writers are limited to one published letter every 30 days to allow us to publish as many letters as possible from as many different readers and so one writer doesn’t dominate the space.
Please don’t submit letters more frequently.
We do our best to publish letters within a week to 10 days after approval, and generally in the order they arrive.
The most common reasons letters are rejected are that they are potentially libelous or contain factual errors or statements that we can’t verify on our own.
If we don’t understand what the writer is saying, or if a letter contains a significant number of grammatical and spelling errors, or if it’s written in all capital letters, we’ll send the letter back to the author to fix up and resubmit. We reserve the right to edit for length, grammar and sentence structure.
Readers are encouraged to challenge other writers, but be respectful and do not call them names or insult them. You wouldn’t want them doing that to you.
We welcome letters on local issues, as well as regional, state, national and international matters. Letters from organizations thanking long lists of supporters will be posted online only.
We require that letters be the original work of the author.
We do not accept letters prepared by other organizations for readers to send in under their own names.
We encourage readers to write about elections. Election-related letters are limited to 200 words. We won’t publish letters from candidates promoting their own positions or candidacies, nor do we accept letters from organized letter-writing campaigns.
For the general election and primaries, the deadline for submitting letters is 10 days before the vote in order to give us time to publish as many letters as possible.
We’ll generally waive the 10-day deadline for local ballot propositions and special elections, but do your best to get those letters in as early as possible to allow time for verification and review.
We invite readers who possess a particular knowledge or expertise on a subject to submit guest columns. (These are not a way to get around the word limits for letters to the editor.)
Guest columns should be about a current state or local issue, express an opinion, and should be around 550-650 words.
Please also submit a head-and-shoulders photo with your submission and a brief, one- or two-sentence bio.
Reach us at: 2345 Maxon Road Extension, PO Box 1090 Schenectady NY 12301-1090 EMAIL [email protected] ONLINE at www.dailygazette.com FAX 518-395-3175
— Mark Mahoney, Editorial Page Editor