Our View: Reiterating election year policies

Published 9:02 am Friday, February 16, 2018

When it comes to elections, a newspaper’s most important role is to inform and educate the voters.

The first component of that revolves around simply offering a broad overview of who is seeking what offices and why. The second element is to take a closer look at candidates’ particular platforms, ideas and overall vision.

It was with these issues in mind that The Winchester Sun updated its election policies prior to the 2018 primary. We outlined those three weeks ago in the newspaper and also shared them on social media. We will share them here again below.

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One thing we certainly could’ve done better was to ensure that each and every candidate was aware of these, as we have found that some do not read The Sun regularly. Although that is concerning and raises questions about what grasp those seeking public office have of the community they hope to serve, our goal is still to ensure residents know who is going to be asking for their votes.

So we opted to extend the deadline for candidates to submit basic biographical information about their filing for office. We will now accept these through 5 p.m. Tuesday but any received after the fact will not be accepted.

The Sun will publish one free filing announcement for each candidate per campaign season.

These submissions must be provided to the newspaper within two weeks after the filing deadline for a particular election, unless otherwise noted as above.

Announcements will be published on page 3, Monday to Friday within two weeks of submission. Submissions must be 300 words or less. A small photo is optional. These can be emailed to news@winchestersun.com or dropped off at our office at 20 Wall St. E-mailed photos should be in JPG format at least 200 resolution.

The Sun reserves the right to edit all submissions for space and clarity.

— No candidate running for office will be allowed to write guest columns or letters to the editor after they have formally filed or publicly declared candidacy.

This includes incumbents who are regular contributors to the newspaper.

Submissions from unopposed candidates will be reviewed on news value and relevancy to the public. Submissions that appear to be purely tied to an election or political issues will not be accepted.

— Letters to the editor from supporters or endorsing a candidate must be received at least three weeks prior to a primary or general election and we will cease publishing all letters at least one week prior to the election. All will run on a first received, first published basis and as space allows.

The Sun reserves the right to edit all submissions for space and clarity.

— Submissions must come from local citizens who have a home address in our county. Submissions that appear to be form letters instead of the author’s own words will not be printed.

The Winchester Sun reserves the right to reject any letter that does not meet standard guidelines for submissions.

The Sun reserves the right to edit all submissions for space and clarity.

— All political advertising must be approved by publisher Michael Caldwell and may require substantiation of claims.

All ads that challenge or target an opponent will be cut off at least one week prior to the election after a targeted candidate has the chance to respond if they so choose.

The Winchester Sun’s news coverage will follow standard procedures that serve readers and treat all candidates equally.

The newspaper will publish overview stories listing who has filed and also write specific race previews prior to the election that will include profiles on all candidates.

Campaign stops, community forums and public events involving incumbents or candidates will be evaluated on their public impact and news relevancy.

The newspaper will not cover private or party fundraisers. Notifications of public events will run in the community calendar if submitted at least three days prior.

The Sun will provide news coverage of all election results.

Our goal here is simply to ensure that voters have the information they need and that all candidates are treated equally.

That is important for democracy to work. dfasdfasdfsadfsadfsdfsdfsdsdafsa