As campaign '04 unfolds, Courier sets its policies
At no time do people cuss or discuss a newspaper more than during the political season.
By the time the long season is over, most people at a newspaper harbor the same thoughts about political handlers that Gen. George Patton had for Field Marshal Rommel, minus the professional respect.
In hopes of minimizing some of the cussing and maximizing the flow of useful information to the voting public, the Courier needs to remind people how it goes about political news coverage and editorial commentary.
First news coverage:
The Courier will do a number of things to familiarize its readers with the candidates and their views on important issues in the weeks to come.
Between July 1 and when early voting opens on Aug. 5, the Courier will publish introductions and extended biographies on each candidate in each major race.
Between Aug. 5 and Aug. 27, we will run question-and-answer packages on the candidates in major races in which we ask their views on key issues.
On the Sunday before the Sept. 7 primary, we will publish recap biographies on all candidates in an election roundup.
We will not attend campaign rallies or fund-raisers unless the speaker is someone of substantial stature who plans to discuss issues beyond political cheer-leading.
On the Editorial/Opinion Page, the Courier will make editorial recommendations in races in which victory in the Sept. 7 primary is tantamount to election. It will make recommendations in other races prior to the Nov. 2 general election.
Candidates need to call the Courier to make appointments for editorial recommendation interviews.
The Courier will not publish letters attacking or endorsing candidates for election. Candidates have an advertising budget, and voters will hear enough praise and attacks without filling the "Readers speak" column with more. "Readers speak" is a forum for discussing issues – not an extra place for candidates and their fans or detractors to tout or attack.
Let the games begin.