News Policies

News Policies

Access Press is a monthly print publication with a web and social media presence. We provide news and information by and for Minnesotans with disabilities. Access Press is managed by a nonprofit board of directors. Content is published at the discretion of the editors.

Access Press publishes content in the form of news stories relevant to Minnesotans with disabilities, photos, commentary pieces, news about people and organizations, and listings for upcoming events. Newspaper sections available for submissions are the History Note, From Our Community, People and Places, Opportunities, Enjoy! and Around the Dial.

Our focus is on news and information that doesn’t have a “pity” component. Our reading audience lives with disabilities or supports people with disabilities. We use a combination of Associated Press style and “people first’ language in writing and editing copy.

Please contact the editor before submitting news or feature articles. Specific guidelines for each section of the newspaper are below.


History Note

Every month, in cooperation with the Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities, Access Press publishes a history note focused on an aspect of Minnesota disability history. Length is up to 550 words. Photos are welcome.

History notes may contain language that is offensive, such as use of the words “crip” or “retarded.” We ask that potentially offensive language be put in a historic context.

History notes can include organizational history when there is a significant anniversary.

Please check with the editorial staff before putting time into a submission as we may have covered that topic before.


From Our Community

Access Press offers space for letters to the editor as well as commentaries on topics of interest to Minnesota’s disability community. Letters should be no more than 500 words, with 750 words per commentary. Ask the editor if more space is needed.

Letters and guest commentaries must be signed by the authors or authors. With letters, a writer’s hometown is published but not a street address. With commentaries more information is published about the writer and/or groups.

Please send contact information, in the form of a phone number or email, in case the editor has questions about a letter or commentary. Contact information isn’t published unless the writer specifically requests that the newspaper do so.

Pictures of the author can be published with a guest commentary but aren’t required.

Access Press asks that letters and guest commentaries be specifically written for the newspaper. Letters must have a focus on disability issues and ideally, a focus on those issues as they affect Minnesotans. Form letters will not be published.

Unsigned letters will not be published.

Because Access Press is a non-profit publication and must follow regulations on political partisanship, political endorsement letters are not published. That is true for candidates’ endorsements as well as for ballot questions.

Before making a submission, writers are always encouraged to contact the newspaper to discuss ideas or to ask questions about From Our Community submissions.

Let the newspaper staff know if accommodations are needed to submit a letter or commentary.

Letters and commentaries reflect the view of the authors and not the views of the staff and board of directors of Access Press.


Columns

For space and equity reasons, Access Press does not publish ongoing columns. Our editorial staff considers ideas but reserves the right to approve or reject columns. We may run a column as a one-time commentary.


People and Places

The People and Places section is for news about Minnesotans with disabilities, Minnesotans who are involved in the disability community, their organizations and their accomplishments. News items include major award winners, new or retiring organization leaders, authors, new or retiring board members, new business owners, new or relocated facilities and other similar items.

We ask that submissions not be more than 500 words long. The exception there is for annual awards by a disability service organization, which are given more space.

We welcome pictures, although for multiple award winners we ask that there either be a group photo of winners or photos that don’t have the same person handing out every award pictured. We like to feature as many different people as possible.

News items about people and places must have a timely tie and come in as soon as possible after an event.


Calendars

Opportunities

The Opportunities section is for conferences, seminars, classes, ongoing support groups and events by and for people with disabilities. Groups seeking board members, new web features from nonprofits and changes in services such as new phone numbers or moves to virtual services are welcome here.

Listings must be from nonprofit groups or group organizers. Preference is given to free or low-cost events.

All submissions must have a tie to Minnesota’s disability community and must specify accommodations.


Enjoy!

Enjoy! listings are for accessible music, theater and arts events and venues, as well as outdoor activities, fundraisers, galas, banquets, and charity walks and runs. Items must have a disability community tie.

Preference is given to free or low-cost events. We do limit fundraisers to a few times a year per group.


Around the Dial

This is a listing of radio, TV and YouTube programs by and for Minnesotans with disabilities. It runs on a space-available basis. Submissions from those who provide public access television, radio or podcasts are welcome.