Some individuals have asked us what our Op-Ed policy is at the Idaho Dispatch.
First, Idaho Dispatch has had a long-term goal of not having many Op-Eds on our site. The goal is to get more news articles on the site and fewer Op-Eds.
Ultimately, our goal is to have a series of “Dueling Op-Eds” where we pick a topic and have someone from each side write an Op-Ed about the issue. We have done this once before and want to do many more of them in the future.
For our current policy, Idaho Dispatch has consistently held that citizens should be able to speak freely and have an opportunity to defend themselves, even if we strongly disagree with what they have to say. We have interviewed individuals and posted Op-Eds that we have strong disagreements personally. Still, we feel it is our job to let those discussions take place openly so the public can be informed about issues or where a candidate might stand.
We feel it is especially important that the public know where candidates seeking public office stand on issues and their personal beliefs about topics before they get into office, whether we agree with them.
For instance, if someone submitted an Op-Ed that said that Mormons in the statehouse are a problem in Idaho and that Mormons deserved to be driven out of towns hundreds of years ago, we would publish the Op-Ed. I am personally a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and would find something of that nature offensive. Still, if that is the view of that person running for office, the public should know where they stand and what they believe. The public could then use that Op-Ed in their decision-making process when voting.
If someone wanted to submit an Op-Ed promoting communism or blaming white people for a specific societal problem, we would publish the Op-Ed. If they are running for public office, it is better to make their views known so the public can be educated on their stances before voting.
We believe the public should decide whether the person expressing controversial views is right or wrong.
If you see an Op-Ed you don’t like and think it is wrong, submit a counter-Op-Ed for publication. We will post all Op-Eds that are not promoting criminal activity.
Currently, we don’t even have a word limit although the shorter Op-Eds tend to be read more.
Idaho Dispatch doesn’t want to be like other media outlets that refuse to only post one side of an issue or refuse to let someone defend themselves in the court of public opinion.
In the future, we hope that we will not have as many Op-Eds and will get more original news content for our readers.
Thank you for your time!
Tags: Idaho Dispatch, Op-Ed