Contact the Country Messenger
P.O. Box 96, Scandia, MN 55073
Publisher - Tom Stangl
fax: (651) 433-3158
Ad Sales - Elise Bourne
Graphic Design - Eric Buelow
Office Assistant - Barb Wetzel
Circulation Manager - Carrie Larson
Letters to the Editor Policy
The Country Messenger encourages readers to express their views. Publishing decisions are made on questions of free speech, good taste, public interest and public sensitivity.
You can submit your letter to the editor by email to firstname.lastname@example.org (our preferred method) or by mail to The Country Messenger, Letters to the Editor, P.O. Box 96, Scandia, MN 55073. The weekly deadline for letters is noon Friday before publication. Depending on the number of letters received, letters that require transcribing may be less likely to be published.
Letters are limited to 400 words. All letters must include the writer's name, address and telephone number, for confirmation purposes only.
Households are limited to one published letter every 30 days, or four publication cycles.
We reserve the right to edit for accuracy, clarity, libel, and civility. If a letter requires editing to the extent that, in the opinion of the editor, it no longer reflects the views or style of the writer, the letter will be returned for revision or rejected for publication.
Personal complaints or attacks, plagiarized material, religious treatises or submissions from organized letter-writing campaigns will not be published. If citing a specific article from The Country Messenger, please include the date, edition, and page number where it appeared.
Guidelines for all submissions
* All letters are subject to editing and The Country Messenger reserves the right not to publish a letter.
* Thank-you letters. We will publish thank-you letters that have a public purpose; we will not publish letters that have only private purposes. For example, a writer may thank the general public for support of charitable or community causes. We will not print a letter from a writer who want to thank specific businesses for their charitable contributions, but we will print letters thanking good Samaritans.
*Letters should be brief. General letters to the editor are limited to 400 words or less.
* Limit on number of letters. Each letter writer may have one letter published every 30 days, or four print cycles (exceptions made for rebuttals).
* All letters must be signed with first and last names. In some cases, we may make a notation of the number of other signatures if there are more than three. Anonymous letters will not be published.
* Only letters originating from writers who live or have lived in The Country Messenger's circulation area will be published.
* An identification line may be added to the writer's letter identifying his or her occupation or title as it applies to the topic of the letter.
Reasons for declining letters
We try to publish as many letters as possible, but do occasionally decline to publish for a variety of reasons:
* Letters should focus on community issues, not personal issues.
* Letters that are purely religious in nature, and which more appropriately belong in a religious magazine or journal, will not be printed. Letters, for example, that argue the existence of God or that argue the legitimacy of specific religious beliefs, will be declined.
* Name-calling and other forms of abrasive or abuse language can disqualify a letter.
* Letters that complain about specific products, services or places of business are not printed.
* We do not print letters from disgruntled employees of private businesses who complain about unjust firings or other problems.
* We do not print letters accusing public or private individuals of criminal conduct. These types of complaints should instead be submitted to law enforcement officials.
* We screen "form" letters that are copies of the same letter that has been signed by different people, such as during an election campaign.
* Statements that cannot be confirmed by The Country Messenger staff may disqualify a letter or the writer may be asked to submit proof of accuracy.
* Letters by campaign managers or the candidates themselves that are designed to champion the candidate's position on a specific issue will not be printed.
The Country Messenger reserves the right to edit any letter submitted for publication. Decisions are made on a case-by-case basis. If readers have any questions about The Country Messenger's policies on letters, they are welcome to contact the editor, Phillip Bock, at 651-433-3845, or email@example.com