From the newsroom: write a letter to the editor, more state information, and more local information

We’ll be presenting state news from a new digital newsroom run by trusted journalists – a move that gives us more time to focus our efforts locally in the new year – tips for writing a letter to the editor as the political season heats up, and more in this month’s peek behind the curtain of Oregon’s smallest newspaper.

A typewriter. File photo: Chas Hundley

What a year 2021 has been to run a newspaper in Oregon. I said something similar at the end of 2020, and not much has changed. Like any small business, managing a journal during a pandemic is difficult. We have struggled with staff issues due to the pandemic, lack of income due to the pandemic, and much of our limited time has been spent writing about the pandemic, which means j have had to give up other stories that need to be written.

However, all is not pessimistic and we are very excited for the coming year. We plan to bring a lot more local news to our readers in 2022.

Welcoming a new partner in news coverage in Oregon

Over the past couple of weeks our readers may have noticed a handful of stories with a signature reading “Chronicle of the capital of Oregon. “

The Chronicle is a newly launched nonprofit digital newsroom covering state government and politics. It is a non-partisan news site affiliated with the States Newsroom, a national 501 (c) (3) nonprofit.

The publication is edited by veteran journalist and newspaper owner Les Zaitz, perhaps Oregon’s most trusted journalist, two-time Pulitzer Prize nominee for his work against cartels operating in Oregon (2014) and examining abuse in federally subsidized programs for workers with disabilities (2007).

He owns and is the editor of Malheur Enterprise in eastern Oregon, and is also the editor of the Salem Reporter, a digital news site in Salem.

The Oregon Capital Chronicle has made its work available to other news sites on very generous terms (free!) Plus my time and that of our freelancers to deal with stories of local importance at Banks, Gales Creek and beyond.

This is a huge boon to our newsroom; we’re the smallest newspaper in the state of Oregon, and between our staff and limited resources and the grindstone that the coronavirus pandemic has been, which has had a huge impact on our bottom line and taken our time away from writing other important stories, the work of OCC is greatly appreciated.

We rely on subscribers to keep the lights on in our small newsroom. Join us with a digital subscription today, $ 15 off now for your first year with an annual subscription, or $ 8 per month. Click here to subscribe.

How to write a letter to the editor

It’s the year 2022, which means we are in midterm election season, and a slate of candidates from local and beyond are applying for public office. Traditionally, this means that we will receive letters to the editor for or against a candidate or ballot measure.

Although our newspaper does not have an “opinion poll,” we welcome letters to the editor from our readers.

Here are some tips and ideas for writing a good letter, as well as our letter writing policies.

Anyone can write a letter to our publication, but we prefer local readers and will prioritize their voices over those who are not from the local area of ​​Western Washington County and the edge of the counties that we. surround.

Include your name, address, and phone number (the address and phone number will not be published) on issues, news, and areas of concern in the community, and please note the title of the story to which you refer, if so. Please keep it between 100 and 350 words. We reserve the right to change letters for reasons of clarity, spelling, punctuation and space errors.

We do not accept mass letters; please write a single letter. In general, we will post letters once a week online and, space permitting, in print. Send them to [email protected] Where [email protected]

Letters to the Editor are not the place to make wild and unfounded accusations. We can, will and have rejected letters that claim, for example, that a political opponent eats babies or is a bona fide intelligence agent from another country. They are not the place to have a quarrel between neighbors. They should make reference to topical issues.

If you have evidence that a local politician is indeed eating infants or passing information to the intelligence agencies of a foreign power, could I recommend contacting our newsroom so that we can investigate? It is easy to do ! Just email us or call 503-395-8131 and leave a message with your details.

As for us, our policy on the opinion of this newspaper remains the same.

We do not make political endorsements or express opinions on local matters with two exceptions: local or state law that threatens or enhances access to public documents and open government meetings; and matters that represent an existential threat to the lives of members of our community.

We think our community wants to read what we know, not what we think.

As Forrest Gump said, “that’s all I have to say about it.”


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