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.

In order to provide fair, comprehensive, factual coverage:

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

Nor will we publish accusations that are unnecessary, not specific or are not substantiated by factual assertions. The Voice will not publish gratuitous personalization. That is, no 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 given to those persons to enable them to write a response, and both submissions and response will be published simultaneously. Articles by Voice writers which make accusations against individuals will be required to include the response within the article itself.

Anonymity: Unattributed articles or letters will not be published in the Voice.

Respect: The Voice will not knowingly publish letters, articles or reports that are hateful, racist, sexist, otherwise discriminatory, inflammatory or needlessly provocative. Published material may not be personally derogatory or insulting, even when strongly criticizing an individual member’s actions.

Writers must refer to other people with respect, refrain from calling someone by a nickname that the person never uses himself or herself, and refrain from comparing other people to odious figures like Hitler or Idi Amin.

The 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 our limited time investment to try to produce an informative and cooperative publication that reflects the values of our Co-op community.

Submission Guidelines

All submissions must include author’s name, phone number and e-mail address, conform to the following guidelines and to the Fairness, Anonymity and Respect policies. Editors will reject letters, articles and reports that do not follow the guidelines or policies. Submission deadline is the first of each month.

Letters. All letters will be printed if they follow the published guidelines and policies.

Voluntary Articles: Suggested maximum: 1,000 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 present positive solutions; it cannot be solely or mainly opinion. It must strive to make a positive contribution to the understanding of the reader on a topic. If a submitted Voluntary Article is substantially opinion, it must be re-submitted as a Letter to the Editor, possibly to a future issue. Editors will reject articles that are essentially just advertisements for member businesses, those of family and friends of members, solely expressions of opinion or that do not follow the guidelines and policies.

Committee Reports: Suggested maximum: 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 or articles that are form letters, chain letters, template letters or letters prepared by someone other than the submitting member will be rejected.

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.

Letters, articles and reports must adhere to the Fairness, Anonymity and Respect policies. They cannot be hateful, needlessly inflammatory, discriminatory, libelous, make personal attacks or unsubstantiated claims or accusations, or be contrary to the values of the Coop as expressed in our mission statement.

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

Letter and article writers are limited to one letter or article per issue. Letter and article writers cannot write gratuitous serial submissions. Editors may reject submissions to consecutive editions of the Voice on the same topic by the same writer.

Editor-Writer Guidelines

All submissions will be reviewed and, if necessary, edited or rejected by the editor. Writers are responsible for the factual content of their stories. Editors must make a reasonable effort to contact and communicate with writers regarding any questions or proposed editorial changes. Writers must be available to editors to confer about their submissions. If a writer does not respond to requests for editorial changes, the editor may make the changes without conferring with the writer, or reject the submission. If agreement between the writer and the editor about changes does not occur after a first revision, the editor may reject the submission, and the writer may revise and resubmit for a future issue.

Submission guidelines updated April 22, 2018