TO OUR readers: Beginning this month, The Boston Globe will be accepting advertisements on the op-ed page from organizations that address issues of the day. Such "advocacy" ads have been a feature of many newspapers, including The New York Times, for years, but they have not been in regular use here at the Globe. We want readers to know we have taken steps to ensure the editorial pages retain their independence.
The content and placement of these advocacy advertisements will be the sole responsibility of the Globe's advertising department. Advocacy ads can oppose the Globe's editorial position on a topic, support it, take a stand somewhere in between, or consider an issue not addressed by the editorial page. We are utterly without a say in the matter. In fact, the editorial board of The Boston Globe, the op-ed columnists, and the section editors will not even be aware in advance of an ad's sponsor or topic. And, of course, we will not change our issue positions or schedule columns or editorials to adjust to the ads.
Accordingly, the editorial page takes no responsibility for the claims made in the ads. An advertising acceptability team will review the ad copy to make sure it meets the newspaper's criteria for this space. All interested parties -- whether to place an advertisement or to express concerns about content -- should contact Michael Flanagan in the Globe's advertising department, 617-929-2137.
Facilitating public debate on important policy issues is the main work of the op-ed page. Adding paid opinion ads to the mix will not change anything we do regarding access to the editorial board, the unsolicited op-ed space, or letters to the editor. We are blessed with an articulate and well-informed readership, and we promise to continue to do our best to assure that as many voices as possible are heard.
© Copyright 2004 Globe Newspaper Company.