Please play fair

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 10, 2005

News-Herald Editorial

The Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald will be fair to every candidate seeking political office in Bertie, Hertford and Northampton counties.

At the same time, we put our readers first in making any policy we follow. It is the reader and not the candidate to whom we owe allegiance.

As part of this endeavor, we have policies regarding the use and submittal of news stories, photos and letters to the editor for any candidate who is running for office in a contested election.

We will not allow the newspaper to be used for political gain by anyone seeking office in the Roanoke-Chowan area. It is important that the playing field be fair as far as this newspaper.

To keep the playing field level, we will not accept a letter to the editor from any candidate seeking office, nor will we run press releases or photos of those candidates. It does not matter if the subject of the release concerns the candidacy or not.

Also, there will be no letters to the editor allowed which endorses or praises a candidate nor those who condemn another candidate, no matter who the author is. Local politics will not be debatable in Your View when it comes to support or detraction from a certain candidate or slate of candidates.

We have discontinued columns in this newspaper that were authored by those who are candidates for office. They will return once the election is over, no matter the outcome.

Prior to November's municipal elections throughout the Roanoke-Chowan area, this newspaper will provide appropriate forums for candidates in contested races to express their thoughts concerning how they can make a difference in their communities. This newspaper will also continue to update stories that provide ample knowledge about who is seeking office in the municipalities in the region.

In addition, we will continue to cover the town boards as they are currently comprised. We will not penalize our readers as we stand behind our promise to keep them informed regarding the current issues in their town.

We will use the names of those currently serving, no matter whether they are candidates or not, in the normal business of reporting meetings.

We want to be fair to the candidates and we will offer each of them the opportunity to speak as they want when we write and publish articles about the contested races. We will, however, be protective of our readers and not allow this newspaper to become a forum for candidates wishing to use it as such. We will report the news, but we will not allow your community newspaper to become inundated by politics, be they local or national.

Our policies are intended to be fair to all, thus we are stating them here. We are firm in our conviction and will enforce our policies to protect our readers.