Guidelines for our election coverage
Published 9:50 pm Friday, March 9, 2018
The election season is upon us. In May, voters will head to the polls in LaGrange, West Point and Hogansville to cast votes that will impact each of the three communities.
Up until this week, we’ve written almost nothing on the upcoming elections. I feel a good rule of thumb is always to wait until after qualifying to write stories because anyone can say they are going to run for a political office. After qualifying, there’s no doubt left. We know who the candidates are and we know who will be on the ballot, unless someone gets disqualified later in the process.
So, now the fun really begins. In the weeks leading up to the election, our reporters will write stories on each political contest, giving each candidate a chance to discuss why they are running for office and what they plan to do if elected.
In our reporting, we will list facts, not opinions, and we will be fair in reporting both sides.
The LDN will allow candidates who have qualified for political office in Troup County to submit a political announcement and photo that will publish by mid-April, more than a month before the election. This includes senators and representatives representing Troup County on a state and federal level. The deadline to send those announcements in will be Friday, March 30, so nearly three full weeks from today.
The announcement will give the candidate a chance to tell the community why he or she is running for office, but it must be 300 words or less. The announcement will be published below the fold or inside the paper. The LDN staff will edit the announcement for style, clarity, grammar and length.
The announcement should discuss biographical information, experience, qualifications and platform issues. A photo should be included but is not a requirement.
Letters to the editor are also welcome from the community, discussing the upcoming races. Anyone who writes a letter is invited to talk about why they support a candidate, but it should not bash other candidates.
Letters will also only be published when they contain provable facts and character opinions. They must include a name, address and phone number so they can be verified. No candidate running for political office will be allowed to write a column during the election season.
If you have any questions regarding these policies, call me at (706) 407-2659 or email Daniel.firstname.lastname@example.org.