GMW.com’s Policies for Election2018: Letters to the Editor, Press Coverage & More

Just on the other side of this weekend and Labor Day is Election season. This year is jam-packed with both federal midterm elections as well as statewide voting for a new governor, plus contested races for all of Wilton’s CT legislative offices.

Before you know it, our pages will be filled with stories about the upcoming political goings-on.

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.

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 impacts Wilton.
  • Letters must be signed with full names; GMW does NOT publish anonymous letters or letters signed with a pseudonym.
  • Letters regarding Election 2018 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. 7 through Friday, Nov. 2.
  • 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 also reserve the right to reject a letter if we feel it does not follow our guidelines or our editorial mission.
  • 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 when necessary, beginning Tuesday, Sept. 11 through Tuesday, Oct. 30.
  • 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, content 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.
  • We ask candidates and their campaign staff/volunteers to read our policies and guidelines when drafting statements, submissions, letters, etc..
  • GMW will run a special “Election Issue” on Nov. 5, the day before Election Day. We will run short bios of each candidate who appears on the ballot. Candidates/campaigns will need to submit photos as well as a short written bio, no longer than 100 words. Deadline for submitting material for the Nov. 5 special election edition is Monday, Oct. 29 at noon.
  • Each political party/town committee will be able to submit one op-ed on behalf of its slate of candidates, and/or platform, for publication in the Monday, Nov. 5special Election Issue. This op-ed can be no longer than 600 words. Deadline for submitting any slate/platform op-ed material for the Nov. 5 issue is Wednesday, Oct. 31 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 editorial style standard. We will NOT change material for content or meaning.
  • Throughout Election 2018 season, we welcome submissions of op-eds from candidates. Candidates will be identified as candidates. Word count is limited to 800 words.
  • Candidates will be limited to one op-ed apiece, from Monday, 24 through Friday, Nov. 2. There will be no candidate op-eds to run after that date.
  • 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 permitsUnderstand 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. 29.
  • When submitting photos for consideration, all files should be sent as separate JPEGs, preferably in horizontal (landscape) format. Please do not embed them in a document.
  • GMW reserves the right to edit all submissions for grammar and editorial style. Edits will not change the 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.
  • Op Ed vs. Letter to the Editor:  Other than extraordinary circumstances, Op Eds are opinion pieces written by a town or public official, or an official representing a public organization. Submissions by all other writers are considered Letters to the Editor. GMW reserves the right for final determination of how submissions are classified.

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 anysubmission 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.

Candidates and Town Committees are solely responsible for meeting pertinent deadlines specified above.