Political letters are considered advertisements

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The Mitchell News-Journal charges a fee for political endorsement letters to the editor. 

Election- and political-related letters to the editor advocating for or against a candidate, ballot measure or political party will be considered ads and are subject to the paper’s regular political advertising rates.

“Many newspapers nationwide started the practice years ago,” said Brandon Roberts, publisher and editor of the News-Journal. “Political campaigns for years have used newspaper opinion pages for what amounts to free advertising. Treating these letters as what they are, which are advertisements, allows us to be consistent and remain objective.”

As with other letters to the editor, they must be submitted with the writer’s name, address and phone number and the writer’s name and city only are published.

The News-Journal retains the right to reject any letter that doesn’t meet its publishing standards and will decide whether a letter is subject to the fee, at which point the letter writer may decide whether to pay to have it published, Roberts said. 

The letters may or may not run on the opinion page and all paid letters will be identified as such.