Co-op Voice Editorial Policy

Articles that belong in the Co-op Voice are within the context of:

  • Great food
  • The co-operative movement
  • Environmental and social justice
  • Green living
  • Natural health care
  • Creating inclusive community networks

While the Voice will avoid promotion or denigration of elected officials, candidates or political parties, references to past, current, or future government policies, laws or agendas may come into the discussion of any of the above issues.

The Co-op Voice welcomes articles, letters and reports of interest to the Co-op Community that follow the published guidelines and policies.

All submissions must include author’s name and e-mail address and conform to the following guidelines and to the Fairness, Anonymity and Respect policies. Editors will decline to publish letters, articles and reports that do not follow the guidelines or policies.

Submission deadlines are the first of each month. Submissions are accepted via e-mail, at editors AT coopvoice.com. If that is not possible, you may submit typed or very legibly handwritten copy on paper.

Letters: Suggested maximum length, 500 words. All letters will be printed if they follow the published guidelines and policies.

Voluntary Articles: Suggested maximum length, 750 words. A Voluntary Article is held to a higher standard than a letter and must meet at least the following criteria: A Voluntary Article must analyze the topic it is discussing; it must present accurate, verifiable corroboration for factual assertions; it can criticize but not attack Co-op practices and personnel; if critical it must strive to make a positive contribution to the understanding of the reader on a topic.

Board, Committee, Panel and GRC Reports: Suggested maximum length, 1,000 words. Reports must follow the published guidelines and policies.

 LETTERS, ARTICLES AND REPORTS SUBMISSION POLICIES

Letters must be the opinion of the letter-writer and can contain no more than 25% non-original writing. All submissions must be written by the writer.

Letters, articles and reports must adhere to the Fairness, Anonymity and Respect policies (below). They cannot be hateful, discriminatory, libelous, make unsubstantiated claims or accusations, or be contrary to the values of the Co-op as expressed in our mission statement.

The Co-op Voice will not knowingly publish letters, articles or reports that are hateful, racist, sexist, or otherwise discriminatory.

Letters, articles, and reports will focus on the topic(s) they intend to cover, and will not be primarily a vehicle for self-interest, personal views or personal disclosure of the writer.

All submissions must be legible, intelligible, civil, well and concisely written with accurate, attributed, easily verifiable statements of facts separated from opinions.

Editor-Writer Guidelines: All submissions will be reviewed and, if necessary, edited by the editor and/or copy-editor. Writers are responsible for the factual content of their submissions. Editors must make a reasonable effort to contact and communicate with writers regarding any questions or proposed editorial changes. If a writer does not respond to requests for editorial changes, the editor may make the changes without conferring with the writer, or may decide to reject the submission.

Editors may at times place certain articles, letters, or reports under password protection on the coopvoice.com website if they feel the items reveal internal Co-op information best shared only with members and staff, but not the public at large.

FAIRNESS, ANONYMITY AND RESPECT POLICIES

In order to provide fair, comprehensive, factual coverage:

Fairness The Co-op Voice will not publish hearsay — that is, allegations not based on the author’s first-hand observation.

Nor will we publish accusations that are not specific or unsubstantiated by factual assertions. The Co-op Voice will not publish gratuitous personalization. That is, there should not be unnecessary naming of Co-op members in polemical letters and articles. Writers must address ideas not persons.

Submissions that make substantive accusations against specific individuals, necessary to make the point of the submission and within the Fairness, Anonymity and Respect policies, will be thoroughly scrutinized by the editors to make sure they are in compliance with Voice policies, and given to those named persons to enable them to write a response. Both submissions and responses will be published as simultaneously as is possible.

Anonymity All letters must be signed when submitted and when published.

Respect Submissions to the Co-op Voice must not be hateful, racist, sexist, otherwise discriminatory. They may not be personally derogatory or insulting, even when strongly criticizing an individual member’s actions.

The Co-op Voice is a collaboration among Co-op members. When submitting, please consider the impact of your words on the writers, editors and production staff who use their limited time to try to produce an informative and co-operative publication that reflects the values of our Co-op community.

updated January 1, 2018