Last updated on Sept. 18, 2023
To increase transparency, the News discloses various newsroom policies related to reported coverage and publication of submitted columns here. Reach out to email@example.com with any questions.
POLICIES RELATED TO OVERALL COVERAGE
Reporting on student death
When the News learns of a student’s death, our first step is to independently confirm their passing with the family and gauge relatives’ willingness for the News to write an obituary and/or a news article. We pursue future coverage accordingly and only deviate from the family’s wishes if there is a pressing case for necessity of coverage and/or newsworthiness to the broader Yale and/or New Haven communities.
The News works with external mental health experts to discuss responsible coverage of student death and makes decisions around tone, content and detail on a case-by-case basis drawing on their guidance.
POLICIES RELATED TO OPINION COLUMNS AND LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
What is an op-ed?
Op-ed is short for opposite editorial and is a holdover from when print newspapers published opinion columns and guest essays on the opposite page of editorials. Today, the YDN publishes op-eds written by members of the New Haven and Yale (current students, faculty and alumni) communities and our columnists daily on our website. Op-eds should be 600-800 words and discuss something happening in the news or make an argument on a subject of your choice.
While the News receives dozens of pitches each week, only pieces authored by members of the Yale and New Haven communities are published on our website. Op-eds must also be timely, original, factually accurate and present a unique viewpoint that adds to the discourse around your chosen topic. Pieces already published on other websites or those containing inaccurate information or obscene, offensive or discriminatory material will not be published at the Opinion Editors’ discretion.
What is a letter to the editor?
A letter to the editor is a brief communication written to the Opinion Editors and Editor in Chief sent in reaction to or commenting on previously published A-section news articles, op-eds and/or editorials. Letters to the editor are how you as readers can share your thoughts, insights and opinions on all things YDN-related.
Letters to the editor MUST be timely and will not be published if commentary is older than two weeks. Letters must be under 400 words. Those containing obscene, offensive or discriminatory material or disparaging remarks directed at News staffers or editors will not be published.
How do I write an op-ed for the News?
Step 1: Engage the reader with an introduction that captures the essence of what your piece will be about and convinces the reader to read your argument.
Step 2: Develop a clear thesis statement that summarizes your argument and view. Your thesis statement is the focal-point of your piece and arguably the most important part of your op-ed, so establishing a strong thesis statement early in the piece is key to a good op-ed.
Step 3: Dive into the central question or point of your thesis statement and support your claims with evidence. It’s important to remember that while you are sharing an opinion, good op-eds have evidence to back up the views presented in the piece. Be sure to cite your sources using hyperlinks like this and include details that further back up your claim. Consider including opposing viewpoints to reach as broad of an audience as possible and keep quotes to a minimum—we want to hear what YOU have to say!
Step 4: Conclude your piece by tying the larger themes of your piece back to the Yale community as seamlessly as possible. Remember your readers are Yalies (past and present) and you want to leave them feeling like they not only understand your argument but also see how it affects them and their lives directly.
Step 5: Once you’ve done all that, congratulations! You’ve written a YDN op-ed! Be sure to fact-check your piece to ensure the accuracy of your claims before submitting for editing and publication.
How do I submit my op-ed?
To submit an op-ed for the News, email the Opinion Editors at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line [Op-ed Pitch] followed by your proposed title for the piece. Write a brief description of your pitch in the email and attach a document with a draft of the piece.
How do I submit my letter to the editor?
Are op-eds edited?
Yes! After a piece has been submitted to us, the Opinion Editors will edit for language precision, argument clarity and structure. The Opinion Editors will also check for grammatical and spelling errors as well as factual errors, which will be discussed with the writer prior to publication and make changes according to News style guidelines. After the first round of edits by the Opinion Editors, the piece will be edited by the Copy Desk in accordance with Copy guidelines and edited by the Editor-in-Chief before being published.
Columnists will be required to come to the YDN building at 202 York St. for in-person edits and are expected to fact-check prior to publication, while all other contributors will have the option of in-person or remote edits. All News editors will work to ensure the integrity of the piece and maintain the voice of the writer throughout the editing process.
Are letters to the editor edited?
Yes! Letters to the editor are lightly edited for factual accuracy as well as spelling and grammar. Letters to the editor selected for publication must include a title and will not be published anonymously.
The News reserves the right to include an editor’s note with the publication of a letter to the editor at the dissension of the Opinion Editors in consultation with the Editor-in-Chief.
As is industry standard, the News does not publish anonymous opinion columns to promote accountability. In rare, exceptional cases, the Opinion Editors, in consultation with the Editor in Chief, may grant anonymity in cases where it is necessary to protect the writer from harm or retaliation. In cases where it is determined that anonymity is not necessary, a detailed explanation will be provided to the writer at which time the writer will decide whether or not they would like to proceed with publication under a byline.
The YDN does not retract op-eds or letters to the editor published online or in print. In the event that a writer who previously published an op-ed in the News decides that they would like their piece removed from the website, they must make an email request to the Opinion Editors at email@example.com.
At the Opinion Editor’s discretion, in consultation with the Editor-in-Chief, the piece may be archived and replaced with an editor’s note explaining the author’s changed stance and a link to the original article with the headline and byline remaining on the website. Writers will have the same opportunity as other writers to publish future op-eds that correct the record and better reflect the beliefs of the writer.