Policies and Guidelines

The Bedford Citizen exists to bring community news to our town in the most civil and even-handed way possible. We aim to generate conversation about important issues facing the town both through Letters to the Editor and comments on specific articles. While we welcome these voices, we also request that contributors join in our commitment to a civil tone.

To facilitate this goal and guide our decision-making, we have adopted several policies that are noted in this article, and are also posted on the “About Us” page of our website.

 Articles: Full-length articles will be considered for publication. Articles are factual reports and do not express or convey the opinion of the author. The information contained should be researched and accurate. Documentation of sources may be requested. Articles must be proofread for grammatical and spelling errors. Persons submitting articles must include their name, street address, and telephone number or email address with a submission.

Guidelines for submissions: We reserve the right to edit submissions to the newspaper. Persons must include their name, street address, and telephone number or email address with all submissions. We will verify submissions with the author before publication. Decisions as to publication of submissions are the sole decision of the editors. Views expressed in submissions to the newspaper are those of the author and not necessarily those of the newspaper.

Photographs: We will consider photographs for publication. We will not substantially alter photographs except as necessary for publication. Digital photographs are preferred. Please contact editor for submission of non-digital photographs. Persons submitting photographs must include their name, street address, and telephone number or email address with each submission.

Literary Contributions: Fiction, short stories, poetry and like items will be considered for publication. Persons submitting content of a literary nature must include their name, street address, and telephone number or email address with each submission. Submissions must be proofread for grammatical and spelling errors by the author. Please state whether your submission has been published previously and any terms under which the submission was published.

Letters the Editor: The Bedford Citizen is committed to civic engagement in the Town of Bedford.  To that end, we publish Letters to the Editor from members of the Bedford community. Opinions expressed in those letters represent the author’s views and are not necessarily the view of The Bedford Citizen.  We reserve the right to not publish letters that aren’t sufficiently focused on the Bedford community. Letters containing personal attacks, defamation of character and/or libelous or slanderous material will not be printed.  We reserve the right to limit the number of letters published on a single topic or by an individual reader.

Authors must include their name, street address, and telephone number or email address with every letter. Email letters are preferred. Letters can be sent via US mail to P.O. Box 212, Bedford, MA 01730. We will not publish the email address, phone number, or street addresses of an author of letters to the editor. Letters can also be emailed to us at: thebedfordcitizen@gmail.com. Letters should be less than 350 words.

Online comments: Reader comments on specific articles are allowed, but are posted at the discretion of the editor. If the comment includes crude words or phrases we will not edit; we simply don’t post the comment. The same applies to insults, comments in poor taste, and personal or gratuitous attacks. Please use upper and lower case, (that is, NO SHOUTING.)

Community notices and event listings: We reserve the right to edit community notices. Author’s name, street address, and telephone number or email address must be included so that we can verify your notice before it is published. Community notices are printed on a space-available basis and the decision to publish them is the sole decision of the editors. Event details in community notices are responsibility of the author and not necessarily those of the newspaper. For event notices, please include the event name, date, time, location, admission fee (if any), age level, whether the venue is handicapped accessible and the contact.

Feedback: To reach us please contact: thebedfordcitizen@gmail.com or call 781-325-8606.You may file submissions online at:  thebedfordcitizen@gmail.comhttp://www.thebedfordcitizen.org/calendar-faq/

Corrections: The newspaper regrets any errors it makes and will publish corrections promptly after notification.

Privacy: We do not and will not release your personal information to a third party without your consent. However, we may share general information about how people use the website and newspaper without identifying specific persons.

Protection of minors: We will limit the use of names and addresses where we deem it appropriate, especially as it applies to minors.

Disclaimer: The newspaper disclaims all legal and financial responsibility for its errors or omissions in content.

Copyright notice: No portion of this The Bedford Citizen may be reproduced without the express consent of the publishers. Please state whether your submission has been published before and any terms under which the submission was published.

The Bedford Citizen Calendar: Local non-profits are invited to post events on the BeTC the Bedford Town Calendar. More details on the policies for calendar submissions can be found on the Calendar FAQ.

Life Events: The Bedford Citizen posts a weekly article of life events submitted by the community. We accept graduation, wedding, birth announcements and more. Guidelines about what we publish and the information to include can be found here. Life events can be submitted through the form linked to button on the home page or at http://www.thebedfordcitizen.org/life-events/

[Our thanks to The Forum of Deerfield, NH upon whose policies these are based.]

Advertising Acceptability Policy

The Bedford Citizen reserves the right to accept or decline any advertisement or sponsorship it is offered.

The Bedford Citizen will decline to accept advertising that it knows or believes to be misleading, inaccurate, fraudulent or illegal, or that fails to comply, in The Bedford Citizen’s sole discretion, with its standards of decency, taste or dignity.

The Bedford Citizen, like all quality publishers of original journalism, maintains a clear separation between news and advertising content.  Advertising that attempts to blur this distinction in a manner that, in The Bedford Citizen’s sole judgment, confuses readers will be rejected.

Editorial Independence Policy

The Bedford Citizen subscribes to standards of editorial independence adopted by the Institute for Nonprofit News:

The Citizen retains full authority over editorial content to protect the best journalistic and business interests of our organization. We maintain a firewall between news coverage decisions and sources of all revenue. Acceptance of financial support does not constitute implied or actual endorsement of donors or their products, services or opinions.

We accept gifts, grants and sponsorships from individuals and organizations for the general support of our activities, but our news judgments are made independently and not on the basis of donor support.

The Bedford Citizen may consider donations to support the coverage of particular topics, but our organization maintains editorial control of the coverage. We will cede no right of review or influence of editorial content, nor of unauthorized distribution of editorial content.

The Citizen will make public all donors who give a total of $5,000 or more per year. We will accept anonymous donations for general support only if it is clear that sufficient safeguards have been put into place that the expenditure of that donation is made independently by our organization and in compliance with INN’s Membership Standards.

Created: Aug 4, 2012
Last Updated: March 1, 2018