• Daily Leader staff report
Daily Leader Publisher Earl Watt and managing editor Larry Phillips announced Friday the paper has made a change in its policy concerning Letters to the Editor on the Opinion Page.
“For years, it has been our policy to not allow letters endorsing candidates in ongoing campaigns,” Phillips said. “But, with the unusually high interest in the upcoming elections – not only locally and statewide, but nationally, we have decided to publish our area readers’ endorsements of candidates.
“There will still be some guidelines, and the following is now a part of our published policy,” he said.
Letters may endorse individual candidates if the writer is an area resident but must stay within the bounds of good taste. Please restrict endorsements to the issues in the campaigns.
“Another thing, there will be no name calling or using personal or character slurs. If we get that, we’ll call and tell you that part won’t be printed,’ he said.
“This policy change is to not only allow – but to encourage – civil discourse on the issues that are important to our readers and why readers feel certain candidates meet those interests.
“We have also had to look at the volume of letters that some writers like to submit. From now on, ‘No more than one letter from the same individual will be published within 7 days of a previous letter on the same topic – unless it is a response to a rebuttal from another writer,’” Phillips said.
“We had several requests to run endorsement letters during the recent primary, but our policy didn’t allow it,” Watt said. “Larry and I revisited the policy to make it more reflective of the desires of our readers. We want to make sure that the freedom to voice your opinion is handled in a way that is fair and respectful, and we look forward to those who want to make their voices heard during the election season.”
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