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Letters policy, columns and perspectives

Letters policy, columns and perspectives

A refresher in The Gazette's Opinion section policies

I thought now might be a good time to remind our readers about The Gazette's policies regarding letters to the editor, guest columns and other matters relating to the Opinion section.

The goal of our Opinion section is to provide a space for open community conversation and debate. We encourage writers from all perspectives and all political viewpoints.

We do not accept or reject letters based on a reader’s approach to an issue. If you have a point of view, please share it with the community. That's what we're here for.

Letters to the Editor

There is no strict word limit on letters to the editor, but the shorter the better. In order to give as many readers an opportunity to comment as possible, we'd prefer that letters fall into the range of 200-300 words.

That should suffice for most topics. Accepted letters that are too long for the print version will be published online only. Email submissions are preferred so that we don't have to retype them, but we still welcome letters sent by traditional mail.

Writers are limited to one published letter every 30 days. 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.

We welcome letters on local issues, as well as regional, state, national and international matters. Letters from organizations thanking lists of supporters will be posted online only.

Election letters

We encourage readers to write about elections. But because we often get more letters than we can print, election-related letters should be no more than 200 words. Longer letters and letters we can't fit in the paper will be published online.

We won't publish letters from candidates or from organized letter-writing campaigns.

The deadline for submitting letters is 10 days before an election, in order to give us time to publish as many letters as possible.

For the September 9 primary, the deadline is Friday, August 29. For the November 4 general election, the deadline is Friday, October 24. Letters will be published up to the Saturday before the election.

Guest columns

We invite readers who possess expertise on a subject to submit guest columns. They should be 500-650 words, again the shorter the better. (They are not a way to get around the word-limit suggestions for letters to the editor.)

Guest columns appear on Sundays, and now, during the week.

A word about columnists and political cartoons: Reflecting on what I wrote earlier about promoting a forum of open discussion and debate, we actively strive to provide a balance of conservative, liberal and centrist national columnists.

Regarding political cartoons, we publish seven to nine syndicated cartoons and two local Bob Emmons cartoons each week, again from a variety of viewpoints.

If you'd like more details on these policies, send me an email.

Thank you for reading the Opinion section. We welcome you to participate in this community forum.

Please email letters and guest column submissions to [email protected]

To message me directly, email me at [email protected] Our website is www.dailygazette.com. Our mailing address is at the bottom of this page.

-- Mark Mahoney, Editorial Page Editor

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