Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
Wed, Oct. 23

Column: So how do you get a letter published in the Courier?

Say whatever else you want about him, but President Donald Trump has been great for journalism. Subscriptions are up at newspapers, including the New York Times, Washington Post and The Daily Courier.

Journalists are moving away from the model of where they ask one side what they think, then ask the other side for their view and printing both as if they were equal remarks. The media has learned to call a lie a lie. When the President of the United States stands before the world and makes a bold accusation without any proof, they are calling him on it.

That’s a positive development, and I hope it continues when a Democrat sits in the Oval Office.

Here at The Daily Courier we’ve seen a large increase in the number of comments readers want to see published since the change in administrations.

After some concerted effort, we have whittled it down to about 70 letters and eight Talk of the Towns waiting to run. Our Rants & Raves submissions are also up. Our readers want to share their opinions, and we are here to serve our readers. So we’ve taken some steps to make that happen in a more-timely manner.

First, we lowered the word limits to around 250 words for a letter to the editor, and around 500 words for a Talk of the Town. That means we’re probably not going to ask you to resubmit your letter if it’s 258 words, but we might if its 358.

Shorter letters means we can get more of them in.

Second, we added a second opinions page to the Sunday newspaper to help us deal with the backlog. We might do this again, if the need arises. We’ve also been running Rants & Raves twice a week.

Third, we’re limiting the days where we run a second column so we can get more letters published.

Finally, we have changed our filing system so we can more easily identify letters based on their content. Letters about local issues will get priority. If you write about President Trump or a national issue, that will be our lowest priority.

Letters that express original viewpoints are more desirable than the ones that repeat well-worn talking points that everyone has heard 100 times.

When our editors go looking for letters to publish, we look for local issue letters first, and then size second. If we need a letter of about 100 words to fill the space we have, we’ll be looking for a letter of 100 words.

When we do publish letters on national issues, we try to find a good balance between conservatives and liberals. We believe that democracy thrives when both sides have a chance to state their case, so that is our goal.

So if you want to get a letter published in the Courier, your best bet is to write about local issues. Some examples include the pension problem in Prescott, motorsports in Chino Valley, the leaky library roof in Prescott Valley, or the Old Bank Building sale in Dewey-Humboldt. There are plenty of others.

A lot of you want your opinions published, and we’re going to do our best to comply. This is your community newspaper, and it’s our mission to give you what you want.

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