Daily Journal Media will now be charging for political letters to the editor from out of the area. Yes, you read that correctly and let me be clear that this does not include local political letters to the editor. Our definition of local is within Otter Tail County. So if you reside in Otter Tail County and want to send a political letter to the editor to endorse your favorite candidate you can do that at no charge. However, if you are from out of the area (Otter Tail County) and want to do that it will cost $25.
Here is the official policy that will now be listed on our opinion page:
Share your opinion:
Daily Journal Media welcomes letters to the editor. To give readers the best access to the space available, letters are limited to 400 words. Word count is strictly enforced and all letters need to include full names, spell out acronyms and refrain from using shorthand. Letters are judged for good taste and material that could be libelous. All letters must be sent via email to email@example.com, include your name (no pseudonyms), address and a phone number so we can contact you. We reserve the right to edit all materials and form letters and political endorsement letters will be billed a nominal fee which will be collected before publication. Letters from within Otter Tail County are given first priority. The subject matter of all letters must be relevant to current events. When letters to the editor are by more than one writer, the address and telephone number of each writer must be clearly provided. Letters with more than three signees will not be accepted. Except for paid political letters a person may have no more than one letter published within 30 consecutive days of his/her most recent letter.
Charging for political letters from out of the area has become a necessity for many newspapers due to the abundance of letters being submitted during a political season. Just remember that if you are local (within Otter Tail County) this new policy does not affect you.
Ken Harty is the publisher of The Fergus Falls Daily Journal.