Editorial: Election season calls for care with comments
Election season is upon us.
And while that is limited this year to Mayor for the City of Prescott and three seats on the City Council, The Daily Courier is in the midst of its campaign guidelines for the Opinions Page.
In accordance with an established tradition of fair play, the Courier handles letters to the editor and talks of the town a little differently. For example:
• During “election season,” which runs into November, the Courier will not publish letters targeting or lauding any particular candidate. We also will not allow candidates that soap-box advantage.
• Letters focusing on a direct campaign issue will be allowed, until four weeks prior to Election Day — July 27 for the Aug. 27 primary and Oct. 5 for the Nov. 5 general. This includes the time when early voting is underway.
Throughout the campaign(s) we will do our best to allow readers to share opinions about the issues, and to keep a fair balance of voices on this page.
When we occasionally reject a letter, it’s usually because it is too long, contains an inappropriate personal attack, blatantly false statements or those that cannot be proven true.
While we allow publicly elected officials to be criticized for actions taken, we reject letters that contain irrelevant attacks, including remarks about a personality trait, physical appearance or their family members.
We also work to maintain a fair balance of views, so letters that repeat the same arguments contained in other letters — and don’t offer anything new to the debate — may not run or will be placed on a lower priority list, so that we can provide equal representation from other sides.
This has been the case recently, at times, with the letters readers sent in about Save the Dells; when they are repeats of the same arguments, the remainder have been and will be held for others with unique ideas, proposals and solutions.
This election season is heating up, particularly with the forums we are covering, and looks to generate a lot more debate and healthy discussion. That is what we want to deliver to our readers. We will work to publish letters — and Talk of the Town columns — from all sides and perspectives.
You can also look forward to candidate bios beginning this week, followed by question-and-answer articles on the issues they will face.
Until we close in on Election Day, review what others are saying, provide your sources when submitting for the Opinions Page and, then, prepare to vote.
Editor’s Note — This editorial was adapted from one the Courier previously published on the same topic.
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