Talon Marks

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Talon Marks Letters Policy (amended Spring 2013)

General
The Talon Marks brand recognizes its position on campus as a printed medium for the expression of current student opinion. Therefore, the letters to the editor shall always be conducted in as fair and responsible a manner as possible. The Talon Marks brand accepts all letters addressed to the editor, but reserves the right to determine the content of its publication, including the letters section.

The decision to publish a letter shall not be based on the letter’s agreement with Talon Marks editorial positions. The letters section shall not become a propaganda outlet for any individual or pressure group.

Submission of letters
Any person other than staff members may submit a letter. All letters must be accompanied by some form of identification. If a letter is submitted in person, the letter must be submitted by the writer of the letter. Every attempt will be made to run all letters received prior to the publication deadline.

Acceptance of letters
The Talon Marks brand accepts all letters initially, but requests revisions of letters that are not publishable as submitted. Letters that are not publishable include the following: Letters that are obscene, libelous and/or racially, sexually or religiously offensive. Literary endeavors, poetry and publicity releases. Any other material that the Editorial Board may deem not to be a letter. Letters rejected by the Editor-in-Chief for specific reasons to be stated in writing.

The Talon Marks brand also may request revisions of letters that would be publishable as submitted, but may reflect badly on the Talon Marks because of language structure and/or usage or because of verbosity. Letters are generally published as submitted although minor corrections may be made if the content is not violated by such changes.

Selection of letters for publication
The Talon Marks brand publishes as many letters as possible and appropriate that are not in violation of this policy. Publication may take place in print and/or online. However, because of space limitations, it may not always be possible to publish all acceptable letters. In such cases, the letters to be published will be selected by the Editor-in-Chief and the opinion editor. Letters have priority over all other items on the opinion page. Letters also may be published on other pages.

The proper use of logic and the accuracy of facts as well as probable reader interest and consequence shall be of primary importance in the selection of letters for publication when space restrictions prevent publication of all letters. Inaccuracies and/or improper use of logic shall constitute grounds for exclusion from publication. Inaccuracies may be pointed out in an editor’s note. Faulty logic, if it misleads readers on an issue of importance, also may be pointed out.

If two or more letters on the same subject are received, and space is a problem, the letter(s) to be published shall be selected in accordance with the foregoing and the following criteria and procedures: If there are both pro and con letters, those that best present the arguments for their respective sides shall be published. If only one side of an issue is addressed, then that (or those) that best present the issues shall be published. The Editor-in-Chief and the opinion editor may seek the advice of other editors, Editorial Board and/or the advisers in selection of letters for publication. If limited space makes it impossible to publish all letters, those letters that will be of most immediate interest and/or consequence to the community shall have priority. Those letters not published may be held for the next issue. In general, letters from on campus have priority over off-campus letters.

Editor’s notes
Editor’s notes shall be kept as brief as possible and are to be avoided. The purpose of the editor’s note shall be: to correct inaccuracies, to respond to questions or requests for information, to provide further explanation of the issues discussed in the letter, to make any comment about the letter that the Editorial Board shall deem necessary.

All editors’ notes shall come before Editorial Board for advisement but final decision shall be made by the Editor-in-Chief.

Miscellaneous
In order to promote diversity in subject matter, the Talon Marks brand (at the discretion of the Editorial Board) shall normally limit discussion of any one subject to two consecutive issues of the paper. If an organization submits a letter as an organization, it must be signed by the organization president in order to be published.

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Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.
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