With the 2006 political season about to kick off, this is a good time to explain how the Daily Press handles candidate announcements.

Every candidate is entitled to one free announcement, along with a facial photo. Press releases must be submitted by candidates themselves; reporters will not help compile material. Announcements should be typed and double-spaced on plain paper (or typed in the e-mail field as correspondence; do not attach documents), and should contain pertinent information, including biographical material, plus a phone number in case we have questions. We have no specific word limit; however, announcements will be edited to meet space restrictions, for clarity, and to remove libelous or inflammatory content. Candidates should therefore refrain from attacks on opponents.

Normally, we publish announcements of local candidates on the front page, provided we receive them in a timely fashion. We also honor requests to for publication dates on a first-come, first-served basis, provided we have the announcement in hand; such requests must be made directly to the managing editor. We will not print any announcement on our front page that has already appeared in another publication (unless it was our decision to hold the announcement), nor will we give front-page space to an announcement we receive after May 29. Announcements received after that time but before June 5 will be printed on an inside page; those received after June 5 must be paid political advertisements.

Incumbents, by nature of being in the position already, will make news from time to time during the campaign season. However, once the incumbent has announced his intentions to seek re-election, we try to be as fair as possible to all contenders. Therefore, during the run-up to an election, we do not publish “fluff” photos and press releases about or including an incumbent (or any candidate) that are not of a “hard news” nature (awards from clubs, ribbon-cuttings, etc.). Judgments on what qualifies are solely up to the publisher and managing editor, and any items that do not meet this criteria must be published as paid political advertising.

Announcements may be delivered to our office at 106 W. Second; mailed to P.O. Box 888, Tahlequah, Okla. 74465; e-mailed to press@intellex.com (include jpeg photo); or faxed to 456-2019. Candidates should confirm with our newsroom clerk, Josh Newton, that we’ve received their material.

We also urge candidates to meet with an account executive or our publisher, Pam Hutson, to discuss political rates and the best ways to promote their campaigns.

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