Stanwood Camano News guidelines for Letters to the Editor
We ask that letters for the Stanwood Camano News Opinion page voice opinions on local news issues, have one author and be 300 words or less.
Please include the author's name, address and phone number. We will publish only name and area of residence.
We give preference to local issues but may accept opinions on state and national issues as space allows. We ask that you include sources for any information presented as facts, particularly numbers, to support your opinion.
We try to publish letters received by noon Friday the following week, as space permits.
Thanks Letters also may have only one author and are limited to 200 words. They are meant to offer community organizations an opportunity to express gratitude for community participation in large events or large fundraising efforts. However, we do not publish thanks to individuals, businesses or sponsors in these letters.
We accept endorsements of up to 200 words for individual candidates after the candidate filing period ends each May. These are endorsements of candidates, not criticisms of their opponents. Repeat endorsements of a candidate by the same person is not allowed. No form letters allowed.
We occasionally accept a guest column from readers who are writing about a specific topic of local interest (typically not national issues). Generally, it is a topic for which the writer has some close affiliation, such as a former game warden writing a perspective on the abundance of elk residing on the valley floor. However, it could just be an interesting perspective on a local issue. We do not offer columns for “hot topics” that are the frequent subject of letter writers, and we do not offer that space for advocacy groups. We do try to publish a headshot with columns. We typically do not publish columns by officials that are elected on a partisan basis.
What kind of content is not published?
• Libel that could get you and us sued.
• Opinions that denounce a race or sexual orientation.
• Opinions that support hate or violence.
• Public service announcements or advocacy for fundraisers or nonprofits.
• Hearsay, as in comments about what other people say or believe, if it has not been previously reported or printed.
• Letters that try to report news. The page is for opinion, not reporting.
• Opinions that address religion must not evangelize (preach), and we discourage letters that are critical of religion simply because the writer disagrees. However, we realize that there are topics in the news that overlap with elements of religion, and we do allow commentary as it relates to impact on the public.
• Form letters and letters signed by more than one author or a group. We want original writings and opinions from individual local readers.
• Letters asking to collect signatures or sign a petition.
• Criticisms of a business, agency or private individual won't be published.
• Rude, mean-spirited letters will not be published. Respect is expected.
• Letters that rehash arguments on ongoing issues without a new news angle.
Can anyone write a letter?
Yes, anyone may write to the editor. However, we generally only publish letters from readers in our coverage area. Letters from children are rarely published but will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
If the writer is a public official or works in some public capacity, that title may be included with the letter, even if they are not speaking in their official capacity.
What happens when you reject a letter?
We may let an author know if their letter does not meet our criteria, but that is not always possible. Please feel free to check with us if you have not heard anything within a couple of weeks.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org