Here’s what we’ll do during city electionsPublished 12:02am Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Small windows of time crop up on the Miss-Lou news calendar that allow for catching up and getting ahead here at the newspaper.
Then, an election slams the latest window shut, and the pace goes from trot to full run yet again.
With only three days remaining for those last-minute mind changers and procrastinators to sign up to run in City of Natchez municipal elections, we know the fun is about to begin.
So it’s time to dust off a few long-standing Democrat policies.
It’s our job, during the month leading up to the May 1 primaries, to provide as much information as possible in the fairest way.
Every candidate has the opportunity to buy advertising in the newspaper to share his or her platforms and goals, but everything that is not a paid political advertisement will fall under one of the following policies.
Every candidate can submit a political announcement and photo to introduce himself or herself to the community.
We will publish one announcement per candidate for free.
Announcements must be 300 words or less and will be published primarily on page 2A in the Sunday editions as space allows. If necessary, some announcements may run on 2A on Wednesdays.
No announcements will be published the week of the election, so the deadline to submit all announcements is April 20.
An announcement can include biographical information, experience and qualifications and platform points. A photo of the candidate can also be included.
Our staff may edit any announcement for style, clarity, grammar and length.
Letters to the editor
Readers, including friends and family of the candidates, are invited to write letters to the editor about the upcoming race.
Our only rule — play nicely.
We will publish letters in favor of one specific candidate, but we will not publish letters bashing another candidate.
We will only publish letters containing provable facts and character opinions, not speculation or untruths.
We will not publish letters from the candidates themselves.
No election letters will be published the week of the election, so the deadline for any election-related letters is April 23.
Top of the Mornings and other columns
Candidates will not be allowed to write Top of the Mornings, guest columns or letters to the editor on any topic during the election season.
Election season is defined as the period from the day after the qualifying deadline to the day after any runoff elections.
Our reporters will work to provide voters with as much information as they can about each and every candidate, but will only present facts, not opinions.
The newspaper will soon begin publishing news stories profiling each candidate, discussing their platforms and asking them important questions.
Questions and concerns about the qualifications, honesty and integrity of any candidates will be addressed through news stories as concerns are brought to us.
Our news staff will always give the candidate an opportunity to speak through their stories.
Readers who have questions for any of the candidates are invited and encouraged to submit them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 601-445-3550.
Toward the end of April, the newspaper’s editorial board will conduct in-depth interviews with every willing candidate in the major contested races. After giving every candidate a chance to explain their goals and answer the board’s questions, the editorial board will make endorsements in the races on the Opinion page of the newspaper.
If you have questions about any of the policies listed above, please let me know.
Julie Cooper is the managing editor of The Natchez Democrat. She can be reached at 601-445-3551 or email@example.com.