Thursday February 21, 2013

Whether you like what you read -- or don't like what you read -- in the Banner, let us know.

We welcome feedback from print readers (mail, email or fax us letters to the editor, guest columns, and press releases); online readers (comment using the comment box at the end of article); Facebook followers (comment on posts or make your own posts on the Banner's Facebook page); and Twitter followers (retweet or reply to one of our tweets).

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Our policy for submitting letters to the editor is as follows:

The Banner welcomes letters and guest columns from its readers.

Letters will be run on a first-come, first-run basis, unless the subject matter concerns a timely issue.

We reserve the right to edit for length, style, content and clarity.

Confusing or libelous letters will not be printed. All letters become the property of the Banner.

Limit letters to 500 words in length and columns to 800. All submissions must be signed by the letter writer, include a town of residence, and bear a daytime telephone number (which will not be published) for verification.

No more than one letter per person will be published in a 30-day period.

Send to: E-mail news@benningtonbanner.com (preferred method) or mail to Letters to the Editor, Bennington Banner, 425 Main St., Bennington, VT 05257.


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Our guidelines for commenting on an online article are:

The Banner has a commenting system at benningtonbanner.com, called Disqus, that lets users join discussions using their social networking accounts, such as Facebook and Twitter, or by setting up a Disqus account. (Just click on the Disqus button above the comment field for information.) This allows you post comments immediately -- if your comments follow the ground rules to begin with (see the guidelines below).

Guests also can leave comments, but there could be a delay in their posting pending the system's approval. If you want your comment to be posted without delay, use your social networking accounts or set one up at http://disqus.com/profile/signup/.

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Commenting guidelines to be aware of for both online and Facebook posts include:

* Be civil. Debate the issues, but avoid personal attacks.

* Keep it clean. No foul language. Don't post obscene material.

* Keep it respectful. Don't call other people names, taunt, threaten or ridicule them.

* Again, keep it respectful. Don't wish harm or death upon the living or the injured. Don't make fun of children. Don't threaten people.

* Don't post hate speech or comments that stereotype: This includes comments that stereotype, intimidate or are hateful toward a person or group of people on the basis of religion, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, age or disability. These are not within your First Amendment rights.

* Be careful. Don't libel people. Don't break copyright rules. Don't invade a private person's privacy. Know these laws before you post.

* Be who you are. You own your comments. Don't name poach or steal other identities.

* Stay on topic. Discourse that veers away from the issue steers everyone away. Stick to the issue at hand. Don't turn comments into a personality fight.

The Bennington Banner cannot and does not review all comments. If you believe a comment on our website violates the guidelines or is inappropriate, mouse over the comment and click on the "flag" link.

If you believe a Facebook comment is inappropriate, send us a message and let us know so we can evaluate it. The Banner can ban abusive commenters.

The Banner reserves the right to remove, edit or modify comments. By posting a comment, you acknowledge that it may be republished or repurposed by the Banner.

By posting a comment, you acknowledge that you alone are accountable for any and all legal claims and damages that may be brought against you by a third party as a result of your comment. The Banner is not responsible for the content of any comment.

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With all that said, we hope you will enjoy the often lively discourse that regularly takes place in our print, online and social media counterparts.

Find The Banner online at www.BenningtonBanner.com

See our Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/benningtonbanner

Follow us on Twitter @Banner_News

Write to us at Bennington Banner, 425 Main St., Bennington, VT 05201

Fax us at 802-442-3413

Or give us a call at 802-447-7567.

~Michelle Karas