ADN revises campaign commentary policy - Must Read Alaska
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Monday, September 27, 2021
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ADN revises campaign commentary policy

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The Anchorage Daily News has new standards for candidates’ commentaries that appear on its pages. Today it revised its guidelines to specify that in general it will not publish links to campaign material from candidates’ columns or letters to the editor.

Last week, several newspapers around the state ran a column from Gov. Bill Walker that encouraged people to watch a three-minute video produced by his campaign specifically to be used as a link to his free commentary on the editorial pages of the newspaper and other newspapers around the state.

The campaign video is linked here.

The Fairbanks News-Miner still has the video link in the op-ed. That newspaper is a for-profit entity owned by a nonprofit organization.

Must Read Alaska flagged this last week as the equivalent of a corporate contribution that would be a violation of Alaska Public Offices Commission regulations, although such an instance has never been tested in Alaska, to our knowledge.

Under new ownership of the Binkley Company, the ADN has also returned to the policy of endorsing candidates and ballot initiatives. The parameters of the endorsements are below. As the largest news outlet in the state, the ADN’s new guidelines are worth reviewing for any candidate running for public office:

“We will aim to provide a platform for candidates and their supporters on all sides, particularly those running for local and statewide office. The above guidelines apply, and we reserve the right not to publish any submission for any reason.

“Candidate-written pieces: For state offices, starting on June 1 of the election year, ADN will consider publishing up to one commentary per month per candidate. Candidates for governor and lieutenant governor are considered separate candidates. Our strong preference is that commentaries be issue-focused and not a general ‘Here’s-why-I’m-running.’ In general, we do not publish links to campaign literature in op-ed columns or letters to the editor.

“Third-party endorsements: We’ll publish no more than one per week for any candidate/ticket, and reserve the right not to publish submissions. Submissions must be original. We’ll make an effort to provide balance in space given to the respective campaigns.

“Letters to the editor: There’s no limit on letters to the editor beyond our standard one-per-month-per-person limit, but we do not have space to publish all letters we receive. What we publish will be a representative sampling of what we receive.

“Candidate endorsements: The ADN will consider endorsing candidates or positions on ballot measures that in the judgment of the Editorial Board have been deemed to be in the best interest of the state or city. Guests are invited to editorial board meetings and will be scheduled on an first-come, first-served basis with priority given to statewide elections and ballot initiatives. Candidates for statewide election will be allowed one ed-board meeting per election (once before the primary, once before the general).  All other candidates are only eligible for one meeting. For more info, please contact Opinions Editor Tom Hewitt.”

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comment

  • Sad indeed journalism has tanked and become just about political party affiliations. One-sided and underhanded. Despicable! Not journalism at all.

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