Guidelines for letters to the editor and opinion columns

The Anchorage Daily News seeks to publish a wide range of points of view and to be a town square of ideas on issues affecting Alaska and Alaskans.

Here's how you can participate:

Letters to the editor

Letters under 200 words have the best chance of being published — and those under 100 words have an even better chance. Letters must be signed and must include the writer's city of residence. Writers should disclose any personal or professional connections with the subjects of their letters. Letters must be original works. Avoid personal attacks. Letter writers are limited to one published letter per month.

Letters are edited for accuracy, clarity and length. If you're citing a fact or quote from a news source or elsewhere, include a link.

We generally don't publish open letters ("An open letter to Sen. Murkowski…"), though letters thanking someone for a good deed ("To the person who helped pull my car out of a snow drift…") are just fine.

Given the volume of letters we receive, we can publish only a selection. We strive for balance, broad interest, variety and timeliness. We do not screen letters based on any political point of view. Letters published reflect the overall volume received on any given issue.

Submit your letter here.


Commentary from the community

These are longer than letters and have a clear point of view. We ask writers to keep submissions between 500 and 600 words — shorter when possible and appropriate.

Commentaries should generally focus on Alaska issues, although we will consider pieces on timely national or international issues. We give preference to Alaska writers. Like letters, articles will be edited for accuracy, clarity and length. We ask that facts or quotes be cited with links wherever possible, both to enable fact-checking and to be transparent with readers when the piece is published online. Columns must be original works and we ask that commentaries be specific to the Daily News; that is, not submitted to several newspapers at once. Commentary writers are limited to one published piece per month.

Submissions should include a one-sentence biography and, if possible, a photo (in JPG format) of the author. Writers need to disclose any personal or professional connections with the subjects of their commentaries.

We do not generally pay for submissions. As a rule, we don't publish poetry or cartoons.

While commentaries often deal with public policy and political issues, we put a high value on columns that reflect everyday experiences of Alaskans, especially when they tell a wider story or intersect with timely issues or policies. We love publishing pieces with solutions to problems.

Given the volume of commentaries received, we cannot publish every submission. We aim for variety, balance, broad interest and timeliness. We publish more commentaries online than in print, so it's possible a submission will appear online only.

Think of readers. Get to your point quickly. Avoid broadsides and attacks. Stay on-point. We find that many longer commentaries are better expressed in letters.

Email submissions to commentary@adn.com. Include the topic in the subject line.

Have questions about letters or opinion columns? Email Editor David Hulen or Opinions Editor Tom Hewitt.

A note to candidates and campaigns

We will aim to provide a platform for candidates and their supporters on all sides, particularly those running for local and statewide office. The above guidelines apply, and we reserve the right not to publish any submission for any reason.

Candidate-written pieces: For state offices, starting on June 1 of the election year, ADN will consider publishing up to one commentary per month per candidate. Candidates for governor and lieutenant governor are considered separate candidates. Our strong preference is that commentaries be issue-focused and not a general 'Here's-why-I'm-running.' In general, we do not publish links to campaign literature in op-ed columns or letters to the editor.

Third-party endorsements: We'll publish no more than one per week for any candidate/ticket, and reserve the right not to publish submissions. Submissions must be original. We'll make an effort to provide balance in space given to the respective campaigns.

Letters to the editor: There's no limit on letters to the editor beyond our standard one-per-month-per-person limit, but we do not have space to publish all letters we receive. What we publish will be a representative sampling of what we receive.

Candidate endorsements: The ADN will consider endorsing candidates or positions on ballot measures that in the judgment of the Editorial Board have been deemed to be in the best interest of the state or city. Guests are invited to editorial board meetings and will be scheduled on an first-come, first-served basis with priority given to statewide elections and ballot initiatives. Candidates for statewide election will be allowed one ed-board meeting per election (once before the primary, once before the general).  All other candidates are only eligible for one meeting. For more info, please contact Opinions Editor Tom Hewitt.