September 17, 2014

Submission Policy

The Sanpete Messenger is in business to support the communities of Sanpete County, including community projects, groups and good relationships between governments, citizens and neighbors.
To that end, we accept information and press releases submitted by residents as the basis for articles in the newspaper.
In order to provide good service and consistency to our readers, the Messenger adheres to a series of policies that seek to ensure the highest journalistic ethics and standards, while fulfilling our role as a community newspaper.
Below are guidelines for submissions from readers and groups that will help ensure accuracy and timeliness in getting articles published.

GENERAL POLICIES
1. The Sanpete Messenger considers all submissions the basis for articles and reserves the right to edit or rewrite submissions for grammar, style and clarity or to conform to restrictions of space.
2. We reserve the right to determine the newsworthiness and appropriateness of any submission and how much space it receives in the newspaper. We may reject an item as a news article if the facts are doubtful, if it is purely opinion, if it is self-serving, if it is purely commercial or if it is “old news.”
3. Submissions lacking complete information, i.e., titles, dates, full names, places, etc., will be subject to editing. In order to ensure the timely publication of a submission, please include a complete list of contact information (day and night, phones and email) to facilitate the prompt gathering of needed facts.
4. The Messenger makes every effort to publish items with timeliness factors prior to the event. In order to ensure events are published in a timely fashion, please submit press releases 2-3 weeks prior. On non-timely submissions, we will publish them as soon as possible and always within three weeks after submission.
5. Generally, we will not publish information about the same award or achievement twice. For example, if we run a story announcing an award or recognition prior to the actual event, we will not run a second story about the event where the award or recognition is received.

BUSINESSES AND COMMERCIAL YOUTH PROGRAMS
1. The Messenger will try to run thumbnail information about new businesses in the county on the business page (generally published the first paper each month).
2. We will not run articles as free advertising for businesses. If a business opening is newsworthy (i.e., the business is buying out an existing business, has built a new building, will serve the general populace, will create jobs or anticipates large sales) we may run an article.
3. The Messenger supports children’s and youth groups as evidenced by our commitment to Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, our sports and graduation supplements and our school page.
4. We do not, as a rule, publish articles that are purely or primarily commercial. For commercial dance studios, children’s choirs, karate studios, music teachers, etc., publicizing recitals or student achievements, we will publish (1) three stories per year with one accompanying photo per story per year , or (2) one story per year with a grouping of 3 accompanying photos. Information and photos must meet our guidelines.
5. Programs desiring more publicity than described above should take out paid advertising.

PEOPLE NOTICES
1. People notices (births, birthdays, religious awards or service, weddings, graduations, etc.) are subject to the same rules of editing as other submissions (see No. 1 under general policies).
2. We will not publish notices written in the first person.
3. While we make every effort to avoid mistakes, occasionally a name is misspelled or other information is omitted. The Messenger’s goal is to always rectify such situations to the pleasure of the reader under the following guidelines:
–Should the error negate the value of the notice (i.e., incorrect dates, times, places, etc.) the submitter will be entitled to one of the following options: a full refund or a re-run of the notice the next week with the proper corrections.
–Should the error not negate the value of the notice (i.e., misspelled names, relatives omitted from the notice, etc.) the Messenger reserves the right to negotiate terms of the refund/re-run based on the severity of the error.

PHOTOGRAPHS

In order to make sure that all photographs published in the Messenger are the highest quality, please follow the guidelines below. We reserve the right to not publish a photo of low quality, and not all photos can be published.
1. Digital photos should be high-resolution and hard-copy photos need to be professionally printed. Photos off websites or from home printers are not acceptable.
2. Digital photos should be, at minimum, 200 dots per inch (DPI). Digital photos less than 4 inches wide at 200 DPI are generally not publishable.
3. As a rule, for photos emailed directly from a digital camera, the best policy is to not adjust the file size before sending to the newspaper.
4. For all photos, details of faces should be easily discernible.
5. Photos of large groups (10 or more people) are not desirable.
6. Photos sent via email should be attached, not pasted into the email or a document (i.e., Microsoft Word or Word Perfect). Photos pasted into emails or documents cannot be used.
7. The submitter must include with the photo the accurate spelling and titles (if applicable) of all persons in the photo.
8. Generally, the better the photo, the better the chance it will be printed.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
1. Generally, the Messenger runs letters from Sanpete County residents and out-of-county subscribers only. At our discretion, we may run a letter from an out-of-county writer if it directly relates to Sanpete County.
2. Letters must include the author’s name, hometown and phone number. The phone number will not be published, and is used only to contact the author if necessary.
3. We will withhold author’s name from publication only if there is sufficient reason (i.e., if the letter reveals embarrassing or confidential information that is critical to making a point). However, the author must provide all information outlined in No. 2 to the newspaper.
4. Letters are limited to 500 words and the Messenger retains the right to edit letters in excess of 500 words. We will try to refer the letter back to the author for revision before editing in-house.
5. We will only publish one letter per month from the same author.
6. The Messenger will try to contact and gain a reply from individuals or organizations criticized in a letter prior to publishing the letter, when such criticism is deemed to be potentially libelous.
7. The Messenger will not permit the letters-to-the-editor column to become a n ongoing colloquy between people who disagree with each other. If one person writes a letter, we will permit other persons to respond to the letter We generally won’t publish a response to the responses.
8. Because of potential exposure to trade libel, and because the Sanpete Messenger does not have staff to investigate and verify allegations, we do not print letters containing consumer complaints about specific businesses. We encourage people who have consumer problems to report them to the Utah Division of Consumer Protection, Better Business Bureau, U.S. Product Safety Commission or KUTV’s “Get Gephardt.” We will publish letters referencing findings and warnings from these and similar consumer projection organizations.
9. We reserve the right to edit letters for space, grammar, clarity and taste.