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Letters and Editorial Policy

In order to provide space for as many letters as possible, we ask readers to limit the length of their comments. All letters should be no more than 300 words in length, and must include the writer’s name, phone number and address. We use this information to verify the letter’s authenticity. The Samoa News does not give out any names, phone numbers or addresses, unless the letter writer wishes such information to be displayed with his/her letter. A letter to the Editor that cannot be verified will not be published.

Letters that discuss general issues of importance to the community can be published with ‘Name Withheld by Request’ or a writer’s preferred alias, however, as stated above, all letters must be verified.

Letters should be typed or neatly written. When using acronyms in letters, please spell out the acronyms in order to make letters clear for the readers.

All letters are subject to editing for space, content, grammar, and libel. This protects both the newspaper and the writer.

If a letter is potentially libelous, slanderous or appears to have been written with malice or harmful intent, it will be edited or rejected. On occasion, we are forced to edit or omit letters to the Editor that are grossly inaccurate, unfair or cross the boundaries of good taste, but we never edit or omit a letter just because we disagree with the writer’s viewpoint.

If the editor comments about a letter, the reader may respond with at least as many words as were used by the editor. Letters criticizing the Samoa News are accepted, and even encouraged, as long as the criticism is constructive and to the point.

POLITICAL LETTERS

All political letters should be concise and to the point and must include the name, address and phone number of the writer for verification purposes. The true name of the letter writer must appear at the bottom of any political letter. We will not publish any political letters during this campaign season with names withheld or aliases.

Letters to the Editor that directly attack a political candidate or camp must be signed and verified and the true name of the writer must appear at the bottom of the letter. Once a letter is verified and the letter writer signs his/her name, Samoa News will attempt to get comment from the candidate or camp being attacked, and the reply, will be published with the letter.

To ensure fairness, no letters for or against any candidate will be published in the last edition of the Samoa News prior to election day.

GUEST EDITORIAL

Guest editorials should be no more than 600 words in length. Please mark your letter if you want it considered as a guest editorial. As in the case of letters, guest editorials must include name, address and phone number for verification purposes and the writer’s true name must appear on the guest editorial.

GENERAL POLICY

All letters and guest editorials once accepted for publication become the property of Samoa News. Priority is given to letters that discuss issues rather than personalities. Samoa News reserves the right to accept or reject any letter or guest editorial.