Over the past several weeks, we have had different questions arise about our policies here at the Metropolis Planet. Some of these are printed each week in the newspaper, while others are not. We hope this editorial will help our readers understand our procedures better.

Opinion Page — Page 4

Page four of the Planet each week is devoted to our opinions as well as our readers. This page is meant to be a forum of discussion for our readers.

On this page you will frequently see columns from staff members, newspaper editorials about issues in our community, columns from state and local government representatives, editorial cartoons and letters to the editor.

Also on the page is what newspapers call the masthead which provides our publication and staff information as well as information on how to submit letters to the editor. Which leads us to the next section.

Letters to the Editor

It is our policy to publish letters to the editor to give local citizens an opportunity to speak out. Letters should be no more than 350 words, if possible. They must be legible, signed by the author and have their name and address included.

We allow one letter per month from readers. If a reader submits two letters in one month, the second letter is held until a later date.

We do not accept letters from candidates running for political office. Letters from candidates will be ran as a paid advertisement with “Paid for by” included in the box. We will accept letters in support of candidates from their followers. We reserve the right to edit any and all letters for length and slander.

Death vs. Obituary

Page two every week is the Death page. A death announcement is general information about the deceased and their service dates and times.

Death announcements are free of charge. If any text and personalization is added to the announcement it is then considered an obituary and charges begin at $40 for the announcement. Personalizations include such thing as “wonderful grandma” and “the best cook of our family.”

There is a $5 charge for all pictures on this page, and they will run in black and white. We accept these announcements from funeral homes or a family member in charge of the arrangements.

Society Items

We publish engagement, wedding, anniversary and birth announcements at no charge for the write-up. If a picture is to be included on any of these announcements there is a $5 charge to process the photo.

Anything over 50 years of marriage has no charge for the picture. These forms for submission can be found on our website — www.metropolisplanet.com. All pictures on this page run in black and white.

Stand Alone Photos

These photos include donations, fundraisers, ribbon cuttings, mugshots, etc. While we wish all these pictures could run in color, sometimes it is not possible. We try our best to make sure they are, but that depends on whether there is a color ad on the page. Adding  color to a page is an increased cost to us in our press room and is covered by the advertiser who purchased the ad on that page.

Press Releases

We welcome any and all press releases from local organizations and businesses. Press releases are published as space allows in the Metropolis Planet or Southern Scene.

If we do not have space one week it will be held until the next week. All press releases are edited by our news staff to follow the Associated Press news style of writing — such as using a last name on the second reference, removal of oxford commas, removal of “fluff” words or words that would be considered advertising and using capitalized titles before a name.

Police and Fire

Our police and fire reports are provided to us weekly by the local departments. We run all reports that are given to us and do not discriminate or show favoritism towards anyone. General DUI arrests are not reported unless the DUI is a result of a vehicle accident.

Sports Pages

We take pride in having a wonderful sports duo reporting and photographing our sports teams. We try to cover all high school sports as time allows including Massac County, Joppa High School and more recently Century High School. Our first priority is high school sports and feature stories of players.

If junior high teams are excelling, we try to cover them as well. We welcome press releases and photo submissions from junior high and youth league coaches for publication. We love having our sports pages full of pictures.

We hope this covered the majority of questions you may have. Please call our office at 618-524-2141 if you have any further questions.

Happy reading.

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