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Accepting guest commentaries
enhances forum role QT 39

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Accepting guest commentaries, offered randomly, reinforces student media’s role as a public forum for student expression.

This would not include the creation of stranding guest columns for administrations, faculty or other school or city officials.

Students should develop guidelines for accepting guest commentaries following the same legal and ethical guides they follow.

Guideline:

Guest commentaries are accepted at the discretion of the editors provided the writer abides by the same legal and ethical guidelines as the staff, does not overuse the privilege and does not exceed 500 words. Guest commentaries should not be from publications staff. Students have the final say on which commentary they will accept.

Social media post/question: What do we say when someone wants to submit a guest commentary?

Stance: Guest commentaries show up in professional newspapers all the time, and they are a fantastic way to engage the community. You should welcome hosting guest commentaries on your pages with the caveat that the editors still get to maintain editorial control.

Reasoning/suggestions:

Guest commentaries are opportunities for your community to have a voice on the pages you host. They are usually done in an extended opinion form of between 250-500 words.

Your guidelines must clearly spell out your procedures for accepting guest commentaries, and the editors still must maintain editorial control. Editorial control does not mean only including opinions with which you agree. In fact, you should use this opportunity to welcome differing viewpoints and voices. Making sure you have viewpoint agnostic guidelines will help to ensure you maintain some control of your content.

Resources:

Star Tribune Commentary Guidelines

 

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