Here are our policies on commenting and letters-to-the-editor.
This policy applies to both our website comment section and our Facebook page, violating this policy can result in being blocked from our Facebook page: Be cool, try to focus on the issues and avoid personal insults (specifically no racist, sexist, or homophobic taunts or slurs) towards other commenters or persons in the story. Please avoid gratuitous name-calling, and do not make false accusations of crimes or of moral turpitude — we will consider this grounds for blocking you.
Also, don’t be a troll, we’ll delete you. If you become a problem commenter, constantly starting fights, or accusing other people of crimes or otherwise making false accusations, we will consider this grounds for blocking you as well.
We reserve the right to delete comments at any time.
If you have information you’d like to share with us, you can always contact us anonymously at email@example.com.
We accept letters to the editor that are topical, local, relevant, and cogent — but we maintain the right to publish only those letters that we deem relevant to the public and the common discourse. Thus, we are more apt to publish a letter from a notable local person, such as a politician, especially as it pertains to their political actions. Likewise, we are more likely to publish a letter from an average person if that letter pertains to some aspect of public life, like infrastructure, local happenings and charities, or something that is a common occurrence in our area, such as, for instance, wildfires and road conditions.
Importantly, our focus as a publication is on local, not national, news. We are unlikely to publish letters dealing with national issues, the conduct of the president or congress of the United States, except as they directly affect Mendocino County, the North Coast, or perhaps Northern California. We are unlikely to publish letters pertaining to general news items in other states, or counties. In addition, these examples should by no means be considered exhaustive.
In general we are unlikely to publish letters that consist of personal attacks against specific people or institutions, especially as they pertain to specific and individual grievances, as opposed to broader or systemic issues. However, in some cases we may deem it worthwhile to air such grievances, if we believe that they have some news value.
Furthermore, in some cases we may find it advisable to do some amount of fact-checking and reporting around a letter to the editor, and to supplement it with such notes and annotation as we deem useful, to present the public with the fullest and most accurate version of the news, and we reserve the right to so annotate a letter. This should not be construed to mean that this is our general practice, but does remain our prerogative.
In cases where accusations are made, we will often, but not always, make an effort to contact the accused party and offer to publish a rebuttal letter from them.
In general we will publish letters as they are, including errors in spelling, pronunciation, and grammar. However, we are willing to occasionally copy-edit a letter if given advanced notice and permission — but this will not be the norm.