As we near the election cycle, which begins with early voting on Oct. 24 and concluding on Nov. 1, followed by Election Day on Nov. 3, The Owego Pennysaver would like to inform its readership of the election policies adopted by our publication.
Regarding news and editorial coverage, The Owego Pennysaver will maintain the following guidelines.
1. The newspaper does not endorse candidates for local, state or national office.
2. As a general rule, the newspaper does not cover fundraising dinners or promotional gatherings limited to particular candidates or political parties.
3. When a person announces his or her candidacy, the newspaper will run a news story. Such announcements must be received no later than one (1) month after the filing date for a particular office.
4. The newspaper will publish news stories about write-in campaigns. Since decisions to run write-in campaigns sometimes are made shortly before an election, there is no deadline set on receiving such announcements.
5. Election-related news coverage beyond or in exception to the above will be at the sole discretion of the newspaper’s management and editor in the name of reader interest and information.
Regarding Letters to the Editor, The Owego Pennysaver will maintain these guidelines.
1. Election-related letters must be local and address pertinent or timely issues of interest to our readers at-large.
2. The newspaper does not publish partisan letters that promote or endorse local political candidates based solely on their record, reputation and qualifications. This constitutes paid political advertising.
3. Candidates themselves may not use the letters to the editor column to outline their views and platforms or to ask for votes. This constitutes paid political advertising.
4. The newspaper is particularly sensitive to organized “letter-writing campaigns” that we believe to be part of a contrived attempt by a political camp to use the editorial page for campaigning purposes, or to otherwise attempt to manipulate our policies for a political advantage. As with all letters and advertising content, the newspaper, at the sole discretion of management, reserves the right to reject any such letter.
5. The newspaper is very likely to reject singular letters that are “signed” or submitted under the names of multiple authors. We will not publish such letters without information provided to promptly verify that each signatory is aware of and has agreed to the contents of the letter.
6. The newspaper strongly encourages writers to limit election-related letters to 300 words.
7. To help insure fairness, all letters to the editor of a political nature must be received at the newspaper office by the deadline for our print edition being published three (3) weeks prior to Election Day. Political letters will not be published in the two weekly editions of our newspapers published immediately prior to Election Day. For The Owego Pennysaver, this includes unsigned comments in the Readers’ Column.
8. The only exception to this three-week rule is a response to a letter of an attacking or derogatory nature. In the name of fairness, the newspaper will accept such a response after the three-week deadline, provided it is written and delivered in time for our very next edition, two weeks prior to Election Day. Such responses may rebut charges, innuendos or misstatements of fact from the initial letter but may not present new charges or level inflammatory counterattacks on the opposing political camp.
9. Under no circumstances will any election-related letter be published during the week immediately prior to Election Day.
10. In the case of questionable content (e.g. unfounded allegations, statements of fact that are suspect, or assaults on a candidate’s character or moral standards), the newspaper reserves the right to verify such information before publication, or to edit letters.
11. All letters must be signed and include the address and telephone number of the writer. Phone numbers are for questions and verification purposes only and will not be published.
If you have any questions regarding this policy, you can contact the Editor, Wendy Post, by calling (607) 687-2434.