What is the purpose of the Concord Monitor’s Opinion section?

 

The aim of the Opinion section, both in print and at concordmonitor.com, is to elevate the conversation in our communities by giving space to thoughtful, reasoned perspective. The section features a range of perspectives and ideas and offers a platform for people to share their voices directly with readers in the form of a My Turn or Letter to the Editor. 

 

The Monitor sees the Opinion section as an opportunity to practice engagement journalism, which combines community engagement with traditional news reporting, resulting in journalism that aims to serve the community and reflect their interests and needs.
 

What is in the Concord Monitor’s Opinion section?

 

Opinion-based content in the Concord Monitor falls into three categories — My Turn, Letter to the Editor, and Commentary. These are separate from the news reporting done on local topics by Monitor staff. 

 

Sections labeled “My Turn” and “Letters to the Editor” are submitted to the Monitor by readers and members of the community. They appear both in print and online. Sections labeled “Commentary” come from one of three national news services: Associated Press, Washington Post or Tribune News Service. They are selected by a Monitor editor and only appear in the print edition.

 

In an effort to make the distinction between opinion essays submitted by members of the community and news articles written by reporters more clear, all My Turns posted online will include this tagline: 

 

My Turns are opinion-based essays submitted by Monitor readers and members of the community. The views expressed in My Turns are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Concord Monitor and its staff.

 
 

What is the Concord Monitor’s Opinion policy?

 

Those wishing to submit a My Turn or Letter to the Editor must be in New Hampshire or have a clearly stated direct connection to the state.

 

Submissions that have blatantly false information will be rejected. Submissions that praise or criticize private businesses, unless they address a larger issue, will not be accepted.  

 

Writers are encouraged to challenge ideas, but personal attacks or attacks based on gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, among others, are not allowed. The editors reserve the right to refuse content they feel does not meet our values of civil debate.

 

Every submission will be read and reviewed by an editor, however we do not have the capacity to respond to every submission. Likewise, while we try to inform a writer when a selected piece will appear in the paper, we cannot guarantee advance notice. All My Turns and Letters chosen for publication will also appear at concordmonitor.com. 

 

We work to allow the writer to maintain their voice. We do edit for spelling, grammar, style and clarity and we also fact-check when we feel a statistic, quote or assertion is suspect. We do not and cannot check every fact in every submission. Letters that include intentionally false information, or letters based in conspiracy theories, will be flagged, and the writer will be contacted regarding the error. We reserve the right to permanently exclude any writer we feel is purposely submitting false information.

 

Letters and My Turns should be in the writer’s own words. Writers can, of course, use properly attributed quotations. Letters or My Turns that include suspected plagiarism will be flagged, and the writer will be contacted regarding the suspected plagiarism. We reserve the right to exclude any writer we feel is purposely plagiarising content.

 

We do not under any circumstance pass along contact information received during the submission process to others outside Newspapers of New England, the Monitor’s publishing company.

 

What is a Letter to the Editor and how can I submit one?

 

Letters to the Editor are 250 word submissions that pertain to local, community or state topics or issues. Letters can also be a response to other articles or columns. Candidate endorsements are permitted, and candidates for local office may submit a letter informing readers of their candidacy.   

 

If you have an affiliation that is relevant to the topic of your letter, please include that in the body of your letter. For example, “As a town official, I believe…”

 

To submit a Letter, use the online form at concordmonitor.com/Opinion/Submit-a-Letter

 

Priority will be given to letters based in the Monitor’s coverage area and on topics that more directly impact the region. However, you don’t have to be a subscriber to submit a letter.

 

Letters must include a real name and town of residence in New Hampshire. Anonymous letters are not accepted. You will see a confirmation message on the submission screen once your letter has made it to our system.

 

What is a My Turn and how can I submit one?

 

My Turns are submissions that go deeper on an issue, written by someone who has a personal connection or an expertise in the subject matter, that the editors feel brings a valuable perspective. They are well reasoned, coherent, based in fact and drawn from a writer’s expertise or experience. For example:

 
  • You live in a region, town or neighborhood that is directly connected to the topic
  • Your profession or volunteer work are directly connected to the topic
  • You or an immediate family member encountered or dealt with the topic directly
  • You have done substantial research about or directly pertaining to the topic
 

My Turns typically run from 400-800 words, although submissions that are shorter or longer may also be considered. 

 

We do not accept My Turns that promote an individual’s political campaign or organization. However, candidate endorsements and announcements are permitted in Letters to the Editor.

 

To submit a My Turn, send an email to letters@cmonitor.com with the submission in the body of the email. Make sure to include your full name, your credentials (if relevant to the subject), and the town you live in. Please note that professions, titles and academic degrees are provided only when relevant to the topic being written about. If you have taken a photo that coincides with the submission that you would like considered as well, please send as an attachment to your email.

 

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Questions? Contact Allie Ginwala, audience engagement editor, at letters@cmonitor.com 

 


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