The Boston Globe

OPINION PAGES EXPLAINED

SEPARATE BUT EQUAL

Some readers get confused about the relationship between the editorial page and the rest of the newspaper, especially since the term "editorial" is often used to describe everything in the Globe that is not advertising. But the news operation, led by editor Marty Baron, is completely separate from the editorial (opinion) pages, led by editorial-page editor Peter S. Canellos. The two do not coordinate coverage or influence the others' professional judgments. Globe endorsements of candidates, for example, are made without consultation with any news reporter or editor, and Globe reporters are expected to cover campaigns without regard to whom the editorial page has endorsed. This "separation of church and state," as it is sometimes called, is a cherished tradition at most major newspapers and helps protect the integrity of both operations. Both Baron and Canellos report directly to the Globe's publisher, Christopher Mayer.

Editorials represent the official view of the Boston Globe as a community institution, which is why they aren't signed by individual writers. The editorial board of the Globe consists of eight members, each with his or her own area of expertise (foreign affairs, education, health care, etc.). Members meet daily and determine editorial direction, priorities, and how to respond to breaking news. Each member conducts independent research and often the whole board gathers for briefings with policymakers, advocates, or academic experts on a topic before reaching a position. The publisher of the newspaper, Christopher Mayer, reserves the right to veto an editorial and usually determines political endorsements for high office, working in consultation with Peter S. Canellos, editor of the editorial page.

Op-Eds (literally, opposite the editorial page) represent the views of individual columnists or writers. Unlike the editorial page, this page is designed to present a broad array of views from Globe staff columnists and members of Greater Boston. The Globe's five columnists are not members of the editorial board and function independently. Marjorie Pritchard is editor of this page and receives hundreds of unsolicited manuscripts a week.

The Boston Globe welcomes unsolicited op-ed offerings. Please keep the piece to 700 words and send by e-mail to oped@globe.com, by fax to 617-929-2098, or by mail to:

Op-ed editor, The Boston Globe
PO Box 55819
Boston, MA  02205-5819

Letters to the editor represent the views of individual readers and ideally feature a broad range of opinions. They are selected from a extremely large volume by the letters editor, Matthew Bernstein. The best way to increase the chance of having your letter chosen is to make it timely, original, and short! Usually, letters respond to articles or editorials in the Globe; not simply to general issues of the day. The Globe reserves the right to edit letters for space or clarity. They must be signed and include a daytime phone number for verification. Send your letters (200 words or less) to letter@globe.com or to:

Letters to the editor
The Boston Globe
PO Box 55819
Boston, MA 02205

Because of the high volume of mail, we are unable to respond personally unless we are going to use the material. If you have not been contacted within five business days, you may assume that the piece was not selected for publication.