Guidelines for letters to editor

We are entering the final couple of weeks of the election season, with early voting already going on, and the big day — Nov. 8 — less than two weeks away.

As with any subject matter, we want to foster open public debate on our editorial pages, giving people of various political beliefs the opportunity to have their say. However, we want to remind everyone of some basic rules we have for our letters to the editor, and some special rules regarding election-related let


First, as always, letters should be emailed, either using our online electronic form, or sent to our editor, John Peters, at Letters must be signed, and include a town of origin, such as Pilot Mountain or Mount Airy, and have a telephone number where we can reach the writer. The telephone number will not be published — we use the numbers for verification purposes only.

No libelous statements will be published, nor will we allow personal attacks on individuals or letters with profanity to be published.

Preferences will be given to local writers or letters about local issues. We rarely publish letters submitted from outside our coverage area unless it pertains directly local issues.

For the election season only, we impose a few more guidelines.

1) We don’t publish letters submitted by elected officials endorsing other candidates.

2) We don’t publish letters from candidates or their campaign workers.

3) While we strive to publish all letters submitted to us, if we receive too many for the available space, we’ll do our best to ensure the ones we publish are representative of the larger number. In other words, if we get 20 letters supporting one cause, and 10 opposing and we can’t fit all the letters into our paper, we’ll do our best to keep that ratio intact — 2 to 1.

4) Even if we can’t publish all letters in print because of space concerns, we will still be able to get them all online, provided they meet our other guidelines (verification number, no profanity, delivered electronically, etc.).

5) We will accept no election-related letters after 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 4, and we will not publish any after Sunday, Nov. 6.

We do encourage you to take advantage of the availability of the Mount Airy News editorial page to make your voice known, both now during the election season and at other times throughout the year.

Most of all, make your voice heard on election day, or during the early election period, by taking part in this part of governing our nation: Go to the polls and cast a vote.