Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

A note from the editor: political advertising

by Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor, Inland Register

(From the Oct. 23, 2008 edition of the Inland Register)

The election season is in full swing, particularly as evidenced by the appearance of advertisements on behalf of political candidates.

The Inland Register accepts political advertising. The main reason: the flow of information which, we hope, will help form and inform the public about the issues as they exercise their responsibility as faithful citizens.

The situation in the United States requires that a publication that sells political advertising make that advertising available equally to all parties. The publication cannot charge less money for advertising for a candidate it favors than it would for the candidate it opposes. It cannot write off advertising costs for one candidate, but not another.

At the IR, we follow very strict rules designed to create an even playing field for political advertising. Political advertisers receive no discounts, not even for larger purchases of space. All must pay for their ads in full, in advance, before the ads run. We do not allow negative advertising.

Ultimately, it all means that candidates who run on platforms which might reflect Catholic concerns can buy advertising in the IR. It also means that candidates whose platforms do not reflect Catholic sensibilities also can buy advertising, at the same cost, with the same restrictions.

To ban political advertising in the Inland Register means that candidates, no matter their position, cannot use the IR to make their positions known to concerned Catholic voters who strive to be concerned about issues, who take their civic responsibility seriously.

An advertisement in the Inland Register, of any sort, does not imply an endorsement by the Catholic Diocese of Spokane. The diocese does not endorse candidates. Neither does the IR, acting on behalf of the bishop. That is true as well of any other advertiser of goods or services.

Political advertisements are an important service to our readers. We hope you will use them as one source of knowledge to assist you in making political choices formed and informed, ultimately, by your Catholic Faith.

(Reprinted from the July 31, 2008 edition of the Inland Register.)

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