Berkeleyside’s policy on opinion pieces during the 2018 election

Election season is upon us and there are distinct choices facing Berkeley voters. In the opinion section, Berkeleyside showcases how people feel about candidates and ballot measures, as well as other issues. Readers often find these pieces informative, as evidenced by the many comments agreeing or disagreeing with op-ed subjects.

During the November 2018 election season, Berkeleyside will publish up to three opinion pieces on each side of each measure, and two pieces supporting or opposing each candidate. We are capping the number of op-eds principally because we have limited capacity to edit the pieces and still produce in-depth stories about the election and other city issues.

Publishing op-eds on Berkeleyside is not just a case of cutting and pasting the pieces sent by contributors. We ask that op-eds be factual and that writers submit links to documents or articles that can back up their arguments. Often this involves multiple rounds of edits. (It’s not a perfect system, and we do ask readers to let us know if they spot something we have missed. We absolutely want to make corrections if they are needed.)

For the November 2018 election, we will publish op-eds on a first-come, first-served basis as long as they meet our editorial standards. Of course, if news breaks late about a candidate or measure, we reserve the right to publish opinion pieces on the topic.

Where the numbers stand

This policy is in effect as of Sept. 1. That means we will not accept any more Measure O op-eds — as we have already published four, two each in support and opposition, with one more pending on both sides. Every other candidate or measure has room for submissions.

If this policy disappoints you, there is a solution: Help us hire an op-ed editor. How can you do that? Support Berkeleyside by becoming a Berkeleyside member and making a financial contribution. We rely on you, our readers, to help the site continue.

What is Berkeleyside’s general policy on opinion pieces?

Berkeleyside welcomes submissions of opinion pieces, which we publish at our discretion. Submissions must be fact-based: Links and citations to substantiate arguments must be included. If you do not hear back, assume we have decided to pass. We generally do not publish items that have appeared elsewhere. Topics should be Berkeley-related, local authors are preferred and anonymity is not allowed. The recommended length is 500-1,000 words, and at least 72 hours’ notice is required. Please send Word or Google docs, not PDFs. Include your name, phone number, and a one-line bio with all relevant disclosures. Email submissions to editors@berkeleyside.com.