Aspen Times’ updated letters to editor policies strive for civil, thoughtful discussion
August 9, 2018
To streamline our process, and get more out of less, The Aspen Times is updating our letters to the editor policy and format.
We take seriously the responsibility of giving the community a forum to express their thoughts and concerns, and to that end we are making an effort to have our letters have more focus and intent.
Starting Monday, our letters policy will follow these new guidelines: Letters should be no longer than 300 words and only one letter per person each week will be allowed. If you cannot clearly and concisely relay your thoughts in 300 words, which translates to talking to someone for about 3 minutes, then we ask you edit yourself.
Accuracy and truthfulness matter. If your letter quotes facts or figures that are not common knowledge, we ask that you source your statements so we are able to easily verify information that our audience should be able to trust is correct. We have high standards in our newsroom for information gathering and we expect the same on our opinion pages.
Let's curb the back-and-forth snipping in letters. The letters section should not be a playground for insults, but rather a public forum for civil and thoughtful dialogue.
We are raising the level of decorum for our letters section and respecting the space that it gets each day. We will continue to be judicious with our selections and that starts with what you send us.
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The election is near, and we will enforce our policy of just one endorsement letter from a writer; we will allow candidates a forum to express their views in one guest column with a length of 500 words.
All letters must be accompanied by the writer's name, hometown and phone number. We will continue to call to confirm with people to ensure the authenticity of the author. We retain the right to edit for clarity, length, punctuation and grammar.
While we give no assurances of when your letter will be published, we recommend submitting it by 2 p.m. two days before publication date. That will give us time to confirm and clarify or edit accordingly.
Our Sunday "Kudos and Kindness" section will remain a place for those who want to thank someone or group in our community. That expression of gratitude is a way for our community to thank one another on a greater platform.
Civil discourse is essential for a healthy community. Please help us in taking the tone and tenor of debate to the highest level it can be.
The Aspen Times editorial board consists of the publisher, editor and members of the staff.
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