Readers often ask about the editorials and columns that appear on the opinion pages, especially how choices are made and by whom. So in the spirit of transparency, and in hope of encouraging reader participation, here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions from readers of The Press Democrat's editorial and Forum pages.
What is the purpose of the editorial page?
Our role is to comment on the news, to express the views of the editorial board and to provide a forum for readers to express their opinions. Our objective is to provide a variety of perspectives on local, state, national and international issues.
Who decides the paper's editorial views?
The editorial board consists of Sonoma Media Investments CEO Steve Falk, Editorial Director Paul Gullixson and Assistant Editorial Director Jim Sweeney. They meet regularly to discuss potential editorials, research issues and come to agreement on what positions to take on key issues. They also meet with policymakers and other newsmakers to learn more about local issues.
Does the newsroom participate in planning editorials?
No one in the newsroom assigns or writes editorials, and no one from the editorial pages assigns, reports or edits news articles.
May I write for the opinion pages?
Yes. We publish letters to the editor each day, and we frequently publish Close to Home opinion columns written by local readers. Our Close to Home authors are usually individuals with a particular expertise or background in the subjects they write about.
How do I submit a letter?
Letters should be no more than 200 words long and must include the names, addresses and phone numbers of no more than two authors. Only the authors' names and hometowns appear in print.
Letters should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. We prefer to receive letters via email — and they are more likely to be published — because they don't need to be retyped. Close to Home columns also should be sent to email@example.com.