OPINION: Election policy about fairness

Published 11:45 am Thursday, September 27, 2018

As the election season heats up, it is our goal to once again provide coverage that is both comprehensive and fair.

Our editorial board has reviewed our election policy from the primary, making minor adjustments for clarity and to improve timelines for submissions.

Our policy is as follows:

— 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 two 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.

— Submissions must come from local residents 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. All submissions will be reviewed by our editorial board.

— 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.

Any and all questions or concerns about the policy can be addressed by our editorial board, which is comprised of publisher Mike Caldwell and managing editor Whitney Leggett. Contact us at 744-3123 or by email at mike.caldwell@winchestersun.com.

The goal of our election policy promotes fair and unbiased coverage for all candidates. By establishing guidelines prior to each election season, candidates and supports can be fully aware of the guidelines that apply across the board.

 

Editorials represent the opinion of the newspaper’s editorial board. The board is comprised of publisher Michael Caldwell and managing editor Whitney Leggett. To inquire about a meeting with the board, contact Caldwell at 759-0095.