Thursday, September 14, 2006

Signing editorials?

A comment posted to this blog today deserves a response.

Here is the comment: "Can you tell me how a local newspaper can legally print their opinion with no author, and the public must identify themselves when submitting editorials?"

My response would be that newspapers can legally do about anything they want.

Seriously, it is not an issue of legality. There is no "legal" issue here.

Most newspapers make it a "policy" of their product to require names on letters to the editor. There are some exceptions and some rural papers that do sometimes print letters without names. But this is a newspaper/business policy (issue of fairness too). Has nothing to do with the law.

Many area papers print "columns" that have the name and picture of the editor or writer.

Many also run editorials without the name of the person who wrote it. For example, that is what the News-Leader does every day. The main editorial never has the writer identified. But, we do know who the editorial board is and the editorial is supposed to reflect the boards opinion.

The same assumption could be make in Anytown, USA.

The editorial may not have a name but it speaks for the entire newspaper (publisher, general manager, editor and reporters). Who actually typed out the letters to form words and sentences is really secondary. The editorial is supposed to speak for the entire newspaper.

What say you?


Post a Comment

Let us know how you have been helped by this article or what you have learned from this story.

<< Home