Inside LINK is a weekly column from our CEO, Lacy Starling. If you have questions you’d like Lacy to answer, email her at [email protected].
A few times a month, I get an email or a direct message from someone who wants to know how to get a letter to the editor or an opinion piece published by LINK, and it makes me really happy.
You see, at LINK, we don’t have opinion writers. Our Guiding Principles state that we are committed to fact-based reporting, and to us, that means that we don’t pay anyone to have opinions. We pay our reporters to find the facts and report them.
We do, however, understand that people out in the community have opinions, and that we are the largest platform in the NKY Metro for folks to share those with the community at large.
To that end, we do publish Letters to the Editor and Op-Eds, with some guidelines. For our full policy, you can go here, but the gist of it is this:
- We want to hear from you. Truly, we very much appreciate the people out in the community who feel passionate enough about issues to take the time to sit down and write a 300-500 word opinion piece on them. We have a diverse readership, and we want to know what you are thinking about the issues we cover.
- Just because you send us something doesn’t guarantee we’ll run it. If your opinion piece is poorly written, obscene, harassing, or inappropriate, we aren’t going to publish it on our website. That’s what Facebook is for.
- Grammar/spelling/punctuation matters. If you want people to read something, it needs to follow generally accepted guidelines of the English language. We understand if you aren’t an expert in AP Style, but we do expect you to know how to use periods and commas. We will also VERY LIGHTLY edit an opinion piece if it is fundamentally sound, but uses too many semicolons.
- If we get 20 versions of the same message, we’re going to pick the best one. Sometimes, during hotly contested community issues, or political campaigns, letter-writing efforts start that end up with us receiving multiple form letters saying the same thing. These are great for sending to your elected officials, but make for pretty boring reading in the local paper. We’ll pick the best one, if it meets our other standards, and publish that. But we won’t run an entire section of the same form letter.
- Sometimes, frankly, we don’t have time for opinion pieces. We have two editors, and they are responsible for their own reporting and for reading and editing every single piece of content that goes up on our site or is printed in our paper (typically, about 100 per week). That means, unfortunately, that sometimes we don’t have a chance to read and action every single opinion piece or letter to the editor that comes in. News is the priority, and we do our best to get opinion pieces published around the news.