Reorganization of Green Pages / Editorial Board (Amended)
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:
Green Pages is the official newspaper of the Green Party of the United States, currently printed four times a year. The primary audiences for Green Pages are party activists working on the national, state and local levels; financial contributors to the GPUS; and sympathetic individuals seeking more information about the party. News media also have access to copies of the paper. Green Pages is produced by the Editorial Board, which is currently a sub-committee of the GPUS Steering Committee.
The Editorial Board has been communicating with other committees, namely the Steering Committee and the Media Committee, about the future of the newspaper and other party publications. There is apparent consensus about several items:
- That the Editorial Board should become a standing committee of the party, directly accountable to the Coordinating Committee, rather than a sub-committee of the Steering Committee
- That a detailed editorial policy guiding the work of the Editorial Board is crucial to its transparent operation
- That the party should produce additional outreach tools to more directly appeal to casual observers whose passing interest in the party may not be satisfied by a detailed newspaper.
The Editorial Board’s proposal is intended to deal with the first two items; the Media Committee is currently taking action on the third.
Green Pages Editorial Board, Green Party of the United States
Ken Sain, Editor
Ben Manski, USGP Co-Chair, WI Delegate
The editorial board will become a standing committee as defined under the bylaws of the Green Party, subject to the standard rules and procedures governing such committees. Therefore, editorial board members are chosen by state parties with a limit of no more than three members from any one state. Due to the unique nature of the project, the editorial board requests that new members put forth by the states agree to be working members of the board who are willing to commit to duties that include writing, editing, proofreading or outreach to get material that will be published. Experience with newspaper production or journalism is preferred but not required.
The Green Pages mission statement, as developed by the Editorial Board, follows: Green Pages, as the official publication of the Green Party of the United States, will act as a clearing-house for Green information. It will strive to provide accurate, balanced and timely information about the activities of the Green Party of the United States and affiliated state parties and caucuses in order to promote interest and involvement in Green Party activities and to increase readership.
Given the different audiences to which Green Pages is presented, a detailed editorial policy is necessary to mediate potential conflicts of vision. The editorial policy attached to this proposal is intended to meet the needs that have been articulated by the Steering Committee and other concerned Greens: to put the best face on the party, avoiding stories that may turn people away, while providing grassroots Greens with the information they need to both improve their own contributions and make informed decisions when influencing the governance of party organizations.
Editorial decisions will be made by the members of the Editorial Board in accordance with the mission and editorial policy and with a clear indication printed in each issue that, in making such decisions, the board does not act as spokespersons for the party. The Editorial Board will establish liaisons with other party committees to ensure clear lines of communication and cooperation regarding the relationship between Green Pages and other party publications.
All finances will be handled through the national office, which will take orders for bundles of newspapers and distribute them. The money collected will go into the general Green Party fund accounts and be administered by the Finance Committee.
In addition to electing co-chairs to govern the committee itself, the Editorial Board will elect an editor to implement its editorial decisions. The board will meet approximately once a month via telephone conference to critique previous issues and discuss forthcoming editions and other issues facing the committee. It is during such conference calls that story ideas will be discussed and tentatively assigned, and it is the responsibility of the editor to develop a story budget based on these discussions. Additional decisions about content may be made over e-mail. Unless otherwise specified, the Editorial Board will make decisions by consensus seeking with a fallback two-thirds majority required to adopt a proposal.
Stories will be assigned to members of the Editorial Board or to outside writers. State parties, caucuses and standing committees will also be entitled to submit reports on their activities. Opinion and analysis pieces may be assigned or submitted unsolicited and will be evaluated for publication in accordance with the editorial policy. The Editorial Board will release a call for submissions at least 30 days prior to the submission date for an issue to the Coordinating Committee. It is our hope they will in turn notify their states, committees and caucuses. All stories will be submitted to the full Editorial Board, which will assist the editor in proofreading and make decisions regarding substantive content issues. Final proofs of the paper, as laid out for publication, will be reviewed by the board before they are submitted to the printer.
Contributors will maintain copyright over their work with an understanding that the Editorial Board, representing the GPUS, is licensing it for a one-time publication rights as part of the issue of Green Pages in question.
Green Pages will not accept advertising in any form.
The editor and national office will ensure that Green Pages is printed by a union printer on recycled paper.
GREEN PAGES EDITORIAL POLICY
Green Pages is the official publication of record of the Green Party of the United States. Its primary purpose is to address the needs of the Green Party, its members and its organizations on the national, state and local levels. Coverage will focus on news of the Green Party and news affecting Green parties. Green Pages will share successes of the party and information to make the party stronger. Secondarily, Green Pages will provide a credible information vehicle for communication and alliance building with media, academics and social movements.
Each issue of Green Pages will draw content from among the following categories:
- News: Timely reporting on electoral activities, including summary information and targeted coverage of campaigns of particular interest to Greens around the country; internal proceedings of the GPUS Coordinating Committee, Steering Committee and standing committees; state Green Party activities; international Green Party activities; Green participation in larger coalition efforts; and other news of particular interest to party members and supporters
- Features: In-depth objective coverage of broader issues and themes of particular relevance to the current state of the party at the time of publication, i.e. electoral reform issues, the experiences of Greens holding elected office or Green participation in activist movements
- Data: Lists, diagrams and charts representing information useful to Greens including but not limited to election results, Greens holding elected office, contact information for state Green parties, ballot access and voter registration updates and financial information from the national party
- Analysis: Disinterested commentary by qualified writers dissecting in depth particular campaigns or other pressing issues, a greater understanding of which the Editorial Board deems will greatly benefit the party (All analysis must either appear on a marked Opinion page or prominently display a consistently recognizable “Analysis” logo)
- Reviews: Overviews and evaluations of books and other publications directly concerning the Green Party (All reviews must appear on a marked Opinion page or prominently display a consistently recognizable “Review” logo)
- Opinions: Argumentative articles taking a position on a particular issue affecting the direction of the Green Party, advocating the party’s adoption of particular positions or using personal experiences to provoke thought in readers, including letters to the editor (All opinions must appear on a marked Opinion page)
- Creative Work: Editorial cartoons, drawings and creative writing concerning issues of relevance to the Green Party and/or a Green/progressive perspective on current events (All creative work must appear on a marked Opinion page)
Green Pages shall maintain a high journalistic standard. Green Pages will be of a quality so as to be journalistically credible to the average non-Green Party reader. Articles must be well researched, well written, relevant and timely. Fact checking and substantiation of claims are the responsibility of the writers. Opinion articles are not exempt from these expectations; broad statements of general opinion with no grounding in facts and objective observations are of no use in a professional-quality newspaper.
News and feature articles must not include personal observations, should not be written in a propagandistic style, should not use first- or second-person constructions and must present a balanced perspective on issues that are matters of dispute within the Green Party. Writers are under no obligation to give equal weight to the points of view of people who do not support the Green Party generally, although doing so may be useful in some circumstances. As a general rule, news and feature writers must approach their writing in a manner that presents an appearance of objectivity within a contextual common understanding of general support for the Green Party.
Internal administrative disputes should only be covered in Green Pages if the Editorial Board deems the party has something to gain from an objective, broadly distributed intra-party examination of the issue at hand, for instance, if the issue has attracted the attention of the mainstream media, is a topic of uninformed discussion among Greens nationwide or must be resolved by a decision-making process that involves the party grassroots. Green Pages will not print gossip, idle speculation, innuendoes or personal information about individuals, nor will it print unedited statements released by any party to an administrative dispute; all such disputes will be covered in objective news articles sensitive to the above guidelines.
More general disputes within the party regarding its direction or the propriety of running particular campaigns or participating in particular activist projects may be addressed in news articles, features, analysis and/or opinion pieces as appropriate. When printing opinion pieces on such disputes, the Editorial Board shall solicit pieces representing all sides.
Whenever Green Pages prints news or data concerning individuals seeking, but not having yet received, a Green Party nomination or endorsement for public office or running for such office on a Green ballot line without the nomination or endorsement of the relevant GPUS affiliate, that situation at the time of publication shall be made clear.
When the number of opinion pieces or letters to the editor submitted exceeds the space budgeted for such material, members of the Editorial Board shall rank the submitted materials in order of preference for publication on the basis of criteria of relevance, timeliness, research quality, writing quality and diversity. The editor shall select pieces for inclusion on the basis of these rankings. The Editorial Board reserves the right to edit opinion pieces for length, writing style and clarity, and when substantive changes are made, writers must be given the opportunity to review the changes and approve or reject publication of edited versions.
In all sections of the paper, including photographs, the Editorial Board shall strive for balanced representation of the diversity of Greens on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age and disability, including coverage of issues of particular importance to underrepresented groups along the above lines.
ADDENUM: 2004 Presidential Election Policy. (Note: The editorial board may develop plans for other long-term matters as the need arises.)
Any candidate for the Green Party presidential nomination who meets the criteria for definition as a “candidate” as specified by the Federal Election Commission shall be entitled to “equal time” coverage in Green Pages until such time as the presidential nominating convention is held. Other candidates or prospective candidates may be covered if the Editorial Board deems their activities particularly newsworthy. Until such time as a clear field of FEC-defined candidates emerges, Green Pages will give particular attention to candidates or prospective candidates who were recommended to the Presidential Exploratory Committee by a significant number of GPUS member state parties in general proportion to the number of states that recommended them.
Green Pages will not print unedited statements by candidates seeking the Green nomination or advocacy pieces by their supporters. It will print objective news coverage, written by Green Pages reporters, of newsworthy events (such as a candidacy announcement or the founding of a registered draft committee for someone who meets the above criteria) and, soon before the time of the nominating convention, a question-and-answer interview with all qualified candidates. For the summer 2003 issue, Green Pages will print one piece arguing in favor of and one piece arguing against the nomination of any candidate in general, with writers to be chosen by the Editorial Board on the basis of their commitment to and articulation of a point of view seen to be held by many Greens.