Star Publications Political Letters to the Editor Policy
As of May 10, 2023
– All political letters to the editor will be limited to 250 words in order to accommodate more letters and viewpoints.
– All letters endorsing or opposing a candidate, ballot measure or political party will be a paid letter to the editor. Star Publications will charge a flat fee of $25 for 250-word or less letters. Payment must be received prior to copy deadline. Letters exceeding the 250-word count will be charged $1 per word in excess of 250. (Ex: A 275-word letter would cost $25 (flat rate) + $25 (25 words in excess) = $50.)
All fees must be paid prior to publication.
Star Publications has adopted this blanket measure as, at times, endorsement letters are written as part of marketing campaigns.
– Paid political letters to the editor will be clearly marked and set apart from those which are not.
– Political letters regarding issues that make no indication of favor or opposition of a candidate, ballot measure or political party will continue to be printed free of charge.
– Readers will be allowed to submit one political letter every 14 days. Space is limited in our papers, and this allows more voices to be heard.
– Candidates will not be allowed to write political letters to the editor. Correspondence from candidates will be published as paid advertising at display advertising rates. The only exception will be allowing candidates to respond to political letters to the editor regarding themselves; those responses will be considered political letters to the editor and charged accordingly.
– Two issues prior to election day, our readers will likely not see any political letters to the editor. The only exception would be publishing letters in response to those written prior to the period; those letters must not bring to light new issues.
These deadlines are designed to protect the integrity of the election by prohibiting letters that could contain misleading or false accusations that could ultimately affect voters’ decisions should a candidate not have the opportunity to respond.
– All letters to the editor – political or not – require first and last names, addresses and phone numbers. This allows newspaper staff to verify the letter writer’s identity.
We do not print anonymous letters of any kind. Names and city of residency will be published in the newspaper along with the letter copy.