GMW’s Policies for Election 2020: Letters to the Editor, Press Coverage & More

In just three weeks, Wilton residents will go to the polls (or have their absentee ballots tabulated) for Connecticut’s now-twice-delayed political primaries. It’s the official (albeit obvious) sign that the Election 2020 season is well underway.

Elections are important and amazing–they’re at the core of our democracy, especially when you strip away partisanship, rhetoric and divisiveness. GOOD Morning Wilton is excited to cover events in Wilton for another year–our 7th!–and since we definitely want to strip away partisanship, rhetoric and divisiveness, it’s important to be transparent and outline our policies and guidelines for how we’ll cover the elections and work with the campaigns–and what you need to know so you can participate.

Please feel free to email any questions or discuss things with our editor and publisher, Heather Borden Hervé.

IMPORTANT General Reminders

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Our policies make clear that personal attacks will not be published.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.

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

Letters to the Editor

*Policies for Letters to the Editor are the same for both the primary and general election unless otherwise specified.

  • GMW welcomes Letters to the Editor. Letters from Wilton residents will take precedence over letters from non-residents. Letters from non-residents will be considered if space permits and if the subject impacts Wilton.
  • Letters must be signed with full names and include a verifiable address and phone number; GMW does NOT publish anonymous letters or letters signed with a pseudonym.
  • Letters regarding Election 2020 and any candidate will be published on Fridays as part of a single article with all letters received during the week.
    • Letters regarding PRIMARY 2020 will run every Friday beginning Friday, July 24 through Friday, Aug. 7.
    • Letters regarding the GENERAL ELECTION 2020 will run every Friday beginning Friday, Sept. 11 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. GMW reserves the right to increase the number of letters if necessary.
  • There is a 200-word limit for letters regarding candidates and election issues. Letters exceeding the word count will be rejected and returned to the author for cuts. Letters will not be considered for publication until meeting the limit.
  • 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 before the Aug. 11 primary if space permits. The counter resets after the primary, but again, GMW will only publish more than one letter from the same writer during the general 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, races and local Wilton-specific issues will be given preference, especially if we near our 10-letter limit.
  • Endorsement vs. Letter to the Editor:  Other than extraordinary circumstances, endorsements are supportive communications 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. (For more information on Endorsements, see the next section.)
  • If we feel a letter does not fit our general editorial policies or any other outlined here, we’ll do our best to contact the author to request changes or suggest alternative approaches. We 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.
  • We will make a best faith effort to print all letters but cannot guarantee that all letters received will be published. Submitting a letter does NOT guarantee it will be published.
  • 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 endorsements from pertinent third-parties, which we define as public officials, civic organizations, interest groups, and similar established, recognized figures.
  • 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, July 28 through Tuesday, Aug. 4 for the Aug. 11 primary
    • Tuesday, Sept. 8 through Tuesday, Oct. 27 for the Nov. 3 general election
  • 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.
  • Endorsement vs. Letter to the Editor:  Other than extraordinary circumstances, endorsements are supportive communications 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. (For more information on Letters to the Editor, see the previous section.)
  • 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 when news merits, regardless of whether the news event is campaign-related.
  • We will not run any advance notices, calendar listings 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.

SPECIAL PRIMARY ISSUE

  • GMW will run a special “Primary Issue” on Wednesday, Aug. 5, the Wednesday before the Primary on Aug. 11. We will run short bios of each local candidate who appears on the ballot. We are collecting these photos and bios well in advance of the special “Primary Issue.” Candidates/campaigns are asked to submit photos as well as a short, written bio, no longer than 125 words. Deadline for submitting photos and bios is Friday, July 31 at 5 PM.
  • Each LOCAL CANDIDATE will be able to submit one op-ed on behalf of her/himself, for publication in the Wednesday, Aug. 5 special Primary Issue. This op-ed can be no longer than 500 words. Deadline for submitting any candidate op-ed material for the Aug. 5 special Primary Issue is Monday, Aug. 3 at noon.
  • There will be no party/town committee op-eds published for the Primary Issue.
  • Please read the General Guidelines–they all apply to the Primary Issue.

SPECIAL GENERAL ELECTION ISSUE

  • GMW will run a special “Election Issue” on Wednesday, Oct. 28, the Wednesday before Election Day. We will run short bios of each candidate who appears on the ballot. We are collecting these photos and bios well in advance of the special “Election Issue,” for possible use elsewhere on GMW. Candidates/campaigns are asked to submit photos as well as a short, written bio, no longer than 125 words. Deadline for submitting photos and bios is Friday, Sept. 11 at 5 PM.
  • 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 Wednesday, Oct. 28 special Election Issue. This op-ed can be no longer than 600 words. Unaffiliated/petition/other candidates who are NOT affiliated with a political party/town committee 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 Oct. 28 special election issue is Friday, Oct. 23 at noon.
  • Candidates will be able to submit to one op-ed apiece for publication in the Wednesday, Oct. 28 special Election Issue. There will be no candidate op-eds to run after that date. Candidates will be identified as candidates. Word count is limited to 800 words. The last day to submit op-eds for consideration is Friday, Oct. 23 at noon. PLEASE NOTE, this is different than in years past when candidate op-eds would be published throughout campaign season. All candidate op-eds will now run on the same day in the special Election Issue.

General Submission Guidelines

  • An IMPORTANT NOTE on word counts:  Word count limits will be strictly adhered to. Any submission exceeding the stated word count will be rejected and returned to the author for cuts. Submissions will not be considered for publication until meeting the limit. Deadlines will be held firm for all returned submissions.
  • 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 standards. We will NOT change material for content or meaning.
  • When submitting photos for consideration, all files should be sent as separate JPEGs, preferably in horizontal (landscape) format. 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. We also reserve the right to refrain from publishing comments or quotes from candidates or campaign officials if we feel they are not in line with our policies.
  • Op Ed/Endorsement 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.

Advertising

All ads need to be submitted in advance for review and approval before publishing. Any and all political advertising needs to hew to the spirit of GMW—that ads be positive and not negative, that ads focus on and pertain to the positives of your own candidate, rather than the negatives of any opponent.

Advertising must comply with all SEEC rules. It is the responsibility of all candidates and campaigns to ensure that their advertising materials meet SEEC rules and regulations.

Ad space is reserved on a first come, first-reserved basis. Space is not considered reserved until the time period request and creative materials are submitted from the candidate or campaign and payment is tendered.

CALENDAR/DUE DATES

July

July 23            Letters to the Editor deadline–NOON
July 24            Letters to the Editor for Primary published
July 27            Endorsements for Primary deadline–NOON
July 28            Endorsements for Primary published
July 30            Letters to the Editor deadline–NOON
July 31            Letters to the Editor for Primary published
July 31            DEADLINE FOR CANDIDATE PHOTOS AND BIOS–5 PM

August

Aug 3              DEADLINE FOR CANDIDATE OP ED–NOON
Aug 3              Endorsements for Primary deadline–NOON
Aug 4              Endorsements for Primary published
Aug 5              SPECIAL PRIMARY ISSUE RUNS
Aug 6              Letters to the Editor deadline–NOON
Aug 7              Letters to the Editor for Primary published

September

Sept. 7             Endorsements deadline–NOON
Sept. 8             Endorsements published
Sept. 10           Letters to the Editor Deadline–NOON
Sept. 11           Letters to the Editor published
Sept. 11           DEADLINE FOR CANDIDATE PHOTOS AND BIOS–5 PM
Sept. 14           Endorsements deadline–NOON
Sept. 15           Endorsements published
Sept. 17           Letters to the Editor Deadline–NOON
Sept. 18           Letters to the Editor published
Sept. 21           Endorsements deadline–NOON
Sept. 22           Endorsements published
Sept. 24           Letters to the Editor Deadline–NOON
Sept. 25           Letters to the Editor published
Sept. 28           Endorsements deadline–NOON
Sept. 29           Endorsements published

October

Oct. 1              Letters to the Editor Deadline–NOON
Oct. 2              Letters to the Editor published
Oct. 5              Endorsements deadline–NOON
Oct. 6              Endorsements published
Oct. 8              Letters to the Editor Deadline–NOON
Oct. 9              Letters to the Editor published
Oct. 12            Endorsements deadline–NOON
Oct. 13            Endorsements published
Oct. 15            Letters to the Editor Deadline–NOON
Oct. 16            Letters to the Editor published
Oct. 19            Endorsements deadline–NOON
Oct. 20            Endorsements published
Oct. 22            Letters to the Editor Deadline–NOON
Oct. 23            Letters to the Editor published
Oct. 23            DEADLINE FOR CANDIDATE OP ED–NOON
Oct. 23            DEADLINE FOR PARTY/TOWN COMMITTEE OP ED–NOON
Oct. 26            Endorsements deadline–NOON
Oct. 27            Endorsements published
Oct. 28            SPECIAL ELECTION ISSUE RUNS
Oct. 29            Letters to the Editor Deadline–NOON
Oct. 30            Letters to the Editor published