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Change to endorsement letters policy

Posted: April 27, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: April 27, 2012 1:55 a.m.
 

To make sure readers’ opinions about candidates are heard, and also to make sure that The Signal’s Letters to the Editor section is not being used for electioneering by a candidate’s campaign, this newspaper is instituting a new policy on endorsement letters.

Effective immediately, letters endorsing any candidate will be published on special pages as paid political endorsements at a rate of 10 cents per word.

All such letters received will be published in the order they are received, assuming they are not libelous, contain personal attacks or are in general bad taste.

The small charge is used to pay for the cost of adding pages to the newspaper to accommodate the letters that, in the past, have been a substantial number. When such letters are received, someone from the Signal staff will contact the sender for confirmation, details on prepayment and when the authorized letter of endorsement will be published.

As we stated earlier in another opinion piece, the management of The Signal feels that this newspaper’s Letters to the Editor section has been used at times by some campaigns as merely a place to “get the word out” about a particular candidate, and not a venue for discussion of issues.

We feel that this new policy will allow supporters to endorse their candidates through the newspaper at a minimal cost and provide an opportunity for all readers to be heard. It will also reserve the Letters to the Editor section on the Opinion page for discussion of the many important issues around our valley.

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