Green Party of California

Green Focus Editorial Board

The current mission statement, editorial guidelines, and editorial board membership & responsibilities were approved by the delegates at the September 2003 general assembly of the Green Party of California

Mission Statement

Green Focus is the publication of the Green Party of California. The purpose of Green Focus is to serve as an outreach tool to the general public, to educate about Green Party positions and achievements with emphasis on the State of California. The newspaper is also used by Green Party members to share outreach and electoral strategies, and provides a forum for discussion of Green issues.

Back to Top

Editorial Board Membership & Responsibilities

Membership: The editorial board will consist of the editors, coordinators of GROW working group and the GROW liaison to the GPCA Coordinating Committee, and other Greens, to a maximum of 11, who are interested in contributing to the newspaper of GPCA in accordance with the editorial policy of Green Focus. The coordinators of GROW and the liaison to the Coordinating Committee will serve as non-voting member. The board members would preferably have experience or expertise in the newspaper publication process. These are not elected positions, however we encourage members of GPCA committees and working groups as well as representatives selected (elected or appointed) from various state counties to participate within the editorial board. Editorial board members will serve for a term of two years, preferably as staggered terms.

Function: The editorial board is responsible for working with the editors in timely preparation of Green Focus issues. The editorial board members should be willing to contribute stories or follow up on contributor assignments, provide input on current submissions, provide editing and proofreading help, recruit contributors and suggest themes for issues. One of the objectives of the members of the editorial board is to look for stories and Green Party activities of interest to be covered in the newspaper. In addition, editorial board members are to serve as the link between the various GPCA working groups and committees and the Green Focus team. The editorial team may also work with volunteers to coordiinate the newspaper ditribution process. A future possibility is to obtain advertisements from small green businesses to provide further income for the project if in accordance with GPCA policy.

Decision-Making: The editorial board has final authority in all matters of quality of contributioins and appropriateness of content. If consensus fails, a 2/3 majority vote will determine the final publishing decision. Although the editorial board is instrumental in pulling together all contributions and editing decisions, the editors hold final decision-making authority on editing issues due to deadline-sensitive constraints inherent in the publishing process. Green Focus editorial board is ultimately accountable to, and will abide by the official decisions of, GPCA's elected bodies (i.e., Coordinating Committee and General Assembly) through the GROW structure and will act in accordance with GPCA policy decisions approved by the General Assembly.

Back to Top

Editorial Guidelines

Green Focus is the publication of the Green Party of California. It is published three or four times a year, generally just prior to state plenary meetings or gatherings.
The newspaper focuses on topics relevant to the Green Party key values, which include nonviolence, social justice, democracy, and the environment, and on the Green Party's role in those issues. The paper emphasizes California, and includes national and international themes.
Green Focus is used to communicate with Green Party members and to reach out to the general public. Production cost and size are designed to make it easy for locals to give to people interested in more information about the Green Party of California. This includes current supporters and registrants, and those who may vote, register, and support Green in the future.
Most articles will be written by Greens specifically for Green Focus. We encourage diversity in the staff and contributors in many respects, including geographic, ethnic, and gender. We prefer by-lines for all writers and appreciate use of non-pseudonyms. We encourage articles in Spanish. Contributions are not to exceed 1000 words. By submitting an article, the contributor gives permission to the Green Focus editorial board to print the submission. Contributors will maintain copyright over their work. Green Focus reserves the right to edit submissions.
Green Focus content includes graphics such as photographs, cartoons, and tables. Written pieces include major news stories, news clips that are local, statewide, national and international, and election previews, results and analysis. It also includes editorials, opinion pieces, book reviews, frequently asked questions (FAQs), and articles on organizing tips and successes. Professionalism in the content and layout is an important goal in order to represent well the substance of the Green Party. Also see section below entitled Regular Columns.
Web Presence
Articles from each issue are posted to the website approximately three weeks after distribution to subscribers and to locals at the plenary.
The editors will ensure that Green Focus is published on best available paper with low environmental impact, with soy ink, and printed by a union printer.

Regular Columns

The following is to serve as a guideline on the main issues and topics that Green Focus strives to cover in its publications.

  1. Elections: Prior to statewide or national electoral campaigns, a special issue on the slate will be produced, focusing on the issues of the candidates. After elections, coverage of the campaign, presentation of the results and analysis will be provided. (500 words for campaign coverage; 1000 words for electoral analysis)
  2. News: News articles reporting on electoral activities or issue campaigns of relevance to the California Greens; official GPCA and GPUS press releases made into articles. News reports will be provided on state, national and international Green Party meetings and conventions. (Maximum of 800 words)
  3. Opinion pieces and issue analysis: A more in-depth analysis of current issues or discussion of Green Party theory. These include submissions taking a position on a particular issue affecting the direction of the Green Party or advocating the party's adoption of a certain campaign strategy. (500-1000 words)
  4. News Clips: Short update pieces from local, state, national and international Green Party news. (100-150 words)
  5. Greens in Office: A column on Green Party members elected to office, outlining their current & future projects, accomplishments, and challenges. For instance, an article in this column could consist (as of Sept. 2003) of a report on Matt Gonzalez, Santa Monica officials, City Council members (e.g., Nevada county) or Rebecca Kaplan. The column may also include reports on elected officials in more conservative areas (e.g., planning board in San Diego County) and the challenges faced there. (300-500 words)
  6. The "Citizens" column: A regular column to discuss grassroots organizing and activism. This column is for local chapter organizers to share ideas, methods and success stories. This column would include reports on local tabling efforts, precinct organizing, panel discussions or other successful outreach events, etc. It could be one big article or could consist of several smaller clips of about 60 words each from around the state. The idea of "citizen" is based on Ralph Nader's quote "The highest position in a democracy is Citizen". (500 words)
  7. Letters to the editor: (100-400 words)
  8. Book and Movie reviews: (800 words MAX.)
  9. FAQ and Editorials: The editors will provide an editorial that will set the theme ofthe issue and will bring the various submissions together. Each issue contains a "frequently asked questions" section urging people to register Green and to vote.
  10. Cartoons and line art drawings: We prefer originals if possible.
  11. Photos: Photos of Green Party officials, volunteers and events.
  12. Chars and Tables: Lists, diagrams and charts representing information useful to Greens or complementing the submitted articles. These may include list of elected officers, election results, voter registration updates.

Back to Top