Record guidelines reiterated on campaign letters

With the election season upon us, and supporters of various candidates doing everything they can think of to help their candidate win,  we would remind readers of what the Record will and will not do during the campaign.

A couple of elections ago, we put together our own guidelines for election coverage. Anyone who wants a complete copy need only ask, and we will send it to you.

While our standard letter-to-the-editor policies continue to apply, we would remind readers that we won’t run more than three letters in support of any candidate or critical of his/her opponent in any single issue.

Letters cannot identify other letter writers by name unless they are candidates or public figures. Letters critical of Guest Columns may identify the writer only once, and then only to make it clear which column they are writing about.

While charges in a campaign can be extreme, the news staff will generally check facts only when it is obvious to the news staff that an outright falsehood is being presented.

The Record will generally not publish Guest Columns or Guest Editorials by announced candidates or political party officials once the candidate filing period opens, nor publish columns by heretofore unannounced candidates once they have filed for office.

No letters attacking a candidate will run in the last issue before the election. Letters in that last issue will be reserved for those supporting a candidate or to rebut previous letters as long as they don’t criticize opposition candidates.

We do accept news releases from candidates announcing their candidacies within two weeks of the filing. However, candidates and their campaign staffs who send news releases to our office should know that they will be considered in the editing process with all the other news we receive. If we consider an issue addressed in the release newsworthy, then we will seek opinions from other candidates in that race.

Those candidates who want to state their position on a campaign matter without being subjected to the news editing process should work with the advertising department and pay for an ad.

While Minnesota law no longer requires disclaimers on ads, revealing who paid for the ad, the Record still does.

We are not perfect and occasionally make mistakes, but we pledge that we will do our best to adhere to these guidelines.

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