GMW.com’s Policies for Election 2017: Letters to the Editor, Press Coverage & More

We’re still holding onto the last days of summer, but just as summer winds down, local politics heat up. This year is a municipal election year, one with exciting, contested races that stand to have widely different implications, depending on their outcomes. Before you know it, we’ll have news stories filled with information about the upcoming municipal election.

Election season is an important and amazing part of the democratic process. GOOD Morning Wilton is excited to cover events in Wilton for another year. We have some straightforward guidelines and thoughts about how we approach election 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.

What follows below seems like a lot of rules…above all, we hope to remind everyone that we have a great set of policies in our Terms of Use that have set GOOD Morning Wilton on the right path since our start. Please feel free to give those a read. But don’t let the guidelines below sway you from taking part in the conversation. We encourage different opinions and contributions from our readers, as long as the tone stays considerate of one another. We’re fond of saying, ‘Let’s discuss the ideas, rather than attack one another.’

We have sent these guidelines to the chairs of both the Republican Town Committee and the Democratic Town Committee, as well as to petition candidates.

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 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 does NOT publish anonymous letters or letters signed with a pseudonym.
  • Letters regarding Election 2017 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. 8 through Friday, Nov. 3.
  • 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.
  • Please read our general policies and guidelines regarding content and comments. We reserve the right to reject a letter or request edits based on our terms of use.
  • While we encourage as much participation in the democratic process as possible, GMW 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 editorial style standard. We will NOT change letters for content.
  • Email letters to editor@goodmorningwilton.com before Thursday at noon of each week.

Endorsements

  • GOOD Morning Wilton will not make any endorsements.
  • GMW 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. 12 through Tuesday, Oct. 31. No endorsements will appear after this date.
  • 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.
  • Please read our general policies and guidelines regarding content and comments. We reserve the right to reject an endorsement or make edits based on our terms of use and editorial style.
  • We reserve the right to edit endorsement announcements as we do for any other press release—for grammar, spelling, brevity and GMW editorial style standard. We will NOT change the endorsement or subject matter.
  • Email all endorsement announcements to editor@goodmorningwilton.com before Monday at noon each week.

Campaign News Coverage & Op-Eds

  • GMW will cover news as warranted. Should any candidate participate in any activity that is deemed newsworthy by GMW—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, 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 will run a special “Election Issue” on Monday, Nov. 6, 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. 6 special election issue is Monday, Oct. 30 at noon.
  • GMW plans to send candidates in some contested races questions regarding local issues. We will submit the same questions to all candidates in the same race. We will set the same deadlines for 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. 6 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 400 words apiece. Deadline for submitting any slate/platform op-ed material for the Nov. 6 special election edition is Monday, Oct. 30 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.
  • Throughout Election 2017 season, we welcome submissions of op-eds from candidates in contested races and their staff/volunteers. Candidates will be identified as candidates. Word count is limited to 800 words.
  • Candidates in contested races will be limited to one op-ed apiece, to run during the period from Sept. 6 through Nov. 3. Candidates on the ballot for non-contested races are welcome to submit letters to the editor during the same time period. There will be no candidate op-eds to run after Nov. 3.
  • We strongly suggest candidates/campaigns contact the GMW 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. 30.
  • If campaigns would like to submit photographs for consideration, they should be sent as separate JPEG files, preferably in horizontal (landscape) format. Please do not embed them in word or PDF files.
  • GMW reserves the right to edit all submissions for grammar, spelling and editorial style. Edits will NOT change the content, meaning or intent of the writer.
  • Please read our general policies and guidelines regarding content and comments. We reserve the right to reject an op-ed or request edits based on our terms of use.

General Reminders

Again, please read our Terms of Use regarding the tone of any communication from candidates and their supporters. We will not publish any letters, opinion or editorial material that we feel deviates from that editorial policy. As we’ve made clear in our Terms of Use, we encourage writers, be they candidates or voters, to focus on ideas and issues, not the person or the personal.

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 reject any submission of material we feel violates our terms of use.

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.

Again, please read our Terms of Use regarding the tone of any communication from candidates and their supporters. We will not publish any letters, opinion or editorial material that we feel deviates from that editorial policy. As we’ve made clear in our Terms of Use, we encourage writers, be they candidates or voters, to focus on ideas and issues, not the person or the personal.

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 reject any submission of material we feel violates our terms of use.

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.