It’s the most wonderful time of the year…Election Season!
Well, okay, maybe elections and campaigns run second to back to school, birthdays and holidays. But before you know it, we’ll have news stories filled with information about the upcoming municipal election.
GOOD Morning Wilton has some straightforward guidelines and thoughts about how we plan to approach coverage so that it’s clear for the candidates, their campaign staff and volunteers, supporters, voters and anyone else how we hope to handle covering any news about Wilton’s vote.
We have sent these guidelines to the chairs of both the RTC and the DTC, as well as to the candidates running for first selectman, and the one unaffiliated candidate who has entered the race.
We also reserve the right to revisit and/or amend these guidelines if we feel it’s necessary. As always, we encourage any reader—candidate or voter—to contact us and discuss anything related to our stated policy.
Letters to the editor
- GMW.com welcomes Letters to the Editor from all Wilton residents. Letters from non-residents will be considered if space permits and if the subject is the Wilton election.
- Letters must be signed with full names; GMW.com does NOT publish anonymous letters or letters signed with a pseudonym.
- Letters regarding Election 2015 and any candidate will be published on Fridays as part of a single article with all letters received during the week. Letters will run every Friday beginning Friday, Sept. 4 through Friday, Oct. 30.
- Only 10 letters will be published each week in the chronological order they were received. Any letter not included one week will be held for consideration the following week.
- There is a 250-word limit for letters regarding candidates and election issues.
- While we encourage as much participation in the democratic process as possible, GMW.com will only publish more than one letter from the same writer during election season if space permits. We can only publish one letter per writer each Friday. We reserve the right to ‘bump’ a letter from a repeat-writer for letters from first-time writers.
- Letters regarding local Wilton candidates and local Wilton-specific issues will be given preference, especially if we near our 10-letter limit.
- If we feel a letter does not fit our general editorial policies or those outlined here, we will do our best to contact the author and request changes or suggest alternative approaches.
- We reserve the right to edit letters for grammar, spelling and GMW.com editorial style standard. We will NOT change letters for content.
- Email letters to email@example.com before Thursday at noon of each week.
- GMW.com will not make any endorsements.
- GMW.com will publish third-party endorsement announcements once per week, where appropriate. Every effort will be made to confirm information and quote accuracy.
- We will publish candidate endorsements on Tuesdays as part of a single article with all endorsements received the prior week. Endorsements will run every Tuesday beginning Tuesday, Sept. 1 through Tuesday, Oct. 27.
- Endorsements will be published in the chronological order they were received. Any endorsement not included one week will be held for consideration the following week.
- We reserve the right to edit endorsement announcements as we do for any other press release—for grammar, spelling, brevity and GMW.com editorial style standard. We will NOT change the endorsement or subject matter.
- Email all endorsement announcements to firstname.lastname@example.org before Monday at noon each week.
Campaign News Coverage & Op-Eds
- GMW.com will cover news as warranted. Should any candidate participate in any activity that is deemed newsworthy by GMW.com—whether or not it is campaign related—coverage will follow accordingly. We will continue to monitor and assess our coverage from standards of fairness and equal access, acknowledging that those are different yet related.
- When a candidate is covered in editorial reporting by GMW.com, he or she will be identified as being a candidate for election, regardless of whether the news event is campaign related.
- We will not run any advance notices or editorial coverage of fundraisers.
- GMW.com will run a special “election issue” on Mon. Nov. 2, the day before Election Day. We will run short bios of each candidate who appears on the ballot, and will need photos submitted by each candidate/campaign as well as a short written bio, no longer than 100 words. Deadline for submitting any material for the Nov. 2 special election is Thursday, Oct. 29 at noon.
- GMW.com plans to send candidates in some contested races questions regarding local issues. We will submit the same questions to both/all candidates in the same race. We will set the same deadlines for both/all candidates. Answers will be limited to 200 words per question, unless the candidates are notified otherwise. We ask candidates and their campaign staff/volunteers to read our policies and guidelines as well when drafting their responses.
- Each political party/town committee will be able to submit an op-ed on behalf of its slate of candidates, and/or platform, for publication in the Nov. 2 special election issue. This op-ed can be no longer than 600 words. Unaffiliated candidates are able to do so as well, and they are limited to 300 words apiece. Deadline for submitting any slate/platform op-ed material for the Nov. 2 special election is Monday, Oct. 26 at noon.
- If we feel the material submitted does not fit our general editorial policies or those outlined here, we will do our best to contact the author and request changes or suggest alternative approaches. We reserve the right to refuse publication based on our current policies.
- We reserve the right to edit op-ed submissions for grammar, spelling and GMW.com editorial style standard. We will NOT change material for content or meaning.
- Throughout Election 2015 season, we welcome submissions of op-eds from candidates and their staff/volunteers. Candidates will be identified as candidates. Word count is limited to 800 words.
- First selectman candidates will be limited to two op-eds apiece, from Sept. 1 through Oct. 30. Candidates on the ballot for any other position will be limited to one op-ed during the same time period. There will be no candidate op-eds to run after that date.
- We strongly suggest candidates/campaigns contact the GMW.com editor well in advance if you plan to submit op-eds to be considered for publication. Any materials will be considered when space permits. Understand that editorial schedules and news events may preclude available space, and unless editors are aware that materials will be submitted for consideration, space may not be guaranteed. The last day to submit op-eds for consideration is Monday, Oct. 26.
- If campaigns would like to submit photographs for consideration, all files should be jpegs, preferably in horizontal format.
- GMW.com reserves the right to edit all submissions for grammar and editorial style. Edits will not change the meaning or intent of the writer.
Our policies make clear that personal attacks will not be published. If any materials submitted by a candidate or individual about an opponent or another candidate, we reserve the right to seek independent confirmation and to offer the subject an opportunity to respond.
We also reserve the right to revisit and/or amend these guidelines if we feel it’s necessary. We encourage any reader—candidate or voter—to contact us and discuss anything related to our stated policy.
Candidates, Political Town Committees and all others submitting material are solely responsible for meeting deadlines specified above.
(Please note: GMW.com will publish an explanation of our guidelines regarding political advertising later in September.)