Guidelines for political letters and news

Published 10:42 am Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The last day to submit a letter about a political candidate or issue is at 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26 and we will publish those submissions through Wednesday, Oct. 31.

After that, no letters endorsing either a candidate or an issue will be published in the days leading up to the Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018 election.

We do this for every election in an effort to prevent last-minute attacks and keep the elections fair. As a reminder, we require all who submit a letter to include their full name, address and phone number. It’s also a good idea to submit documentation of any claims you make, which will significantly help speed up the fact-checking process.

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The Tribune welcomes letters to the editor as part of a community discussion of issues on the local, state and national level. Emailed letters are preferred.

Handwritten or typed letters must be signed. All letters need to include full name, address and phone number; only name and city will be printed. Letters should be limited to about 300 words. Letters are subject to editing for length, grammar and clarity.

Publication of any letter is not guaranteed and depends on space available and the volume of letters received.

Libelous, argumentative and anonymous letters or poetry will not be published.


Political letters to the editor

As a general rule, the newspaper will not endorse candidates for local office, but may endorse an issue or ballot referendum. Election-related news coverage will be at the sole discretion of the newspaper’s publisher and editorial board in the name of newsworthiness, reader interest and information.


• Election-related letters MUST address pertinent or timely issues of interest to our readers at-large.

• Letters must ensure any information about a candidate is accurate, fair and not from second-hand knowledge or hearsay.

• Letters should explain the reasons to support candidates based on personal experience and perspective rather than partisanship and campaign-style rhetoric.

• Candidates themselves may not use the letters to the editor column to outline their views and platforms or to ask for votes; this constitutes paid political advertising.

• The newspaper is likely to reject singular letters to the editor that are “signed” or submitted under the names of multiple authors. We will not publish such letters without information provided that allows us to promptly verify that each signatory is aware of and has agreed to the contents of the letter.

• The newspaper strongly encourages writers to limit letters to 300 words or less.

• In the case of questionable content (e.g. unfounded allegations, statements of fact that are suspect, or assaults on a candidate’s character or moral standards), the newspaper reserves the right to verify such information before publication, or to edit letters. Any changes necessary to render a letter suitable for publication will be reviewed with the writer prior to publication whenever possible.

• All letters must be signed and include the address and telephone number of the writer. Electronic letters must include address and telephone number of the sender. Phone numbers are for questions and verification purposes only and will not be published.

• As with all letters and advertising content, the newspaper, at the sole discretion of the publisher and editorial board reserves the right to reject any letter that doesn’t follow the above criteria.


Scott Schmeltzer is the publisher at The Tribune. To reach him, call 740-532-1441 ext. 16 or by email at