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Guidelines for Underwriting and Day Sponsorships

Statements from VaNews day sponsors are intended to recognize and encourage financial support of VaNews. Day sponsor statements are not intended to be and may not be commercial advertising or a platform for political candidates or parties.

VaNews is a news compilation service aimed to educate the public, regardless of viewpoint. Sponsorship messages do not reflect the views of the Virginia Public Access Project, its Board of Directors, or its staff.

General Guidelines:

  • The statements will begin with the sponsor's name and include an additional message of up to 25 words
  • The sponsorship message will be limited to:
    • Statements of encouragement and support for VPAP.
    • Personal best wishes on an anniversary, birthday, special occasion, or other milestone.
    • Announcements of music festivals, athletic contests, and other events that are open to the public, excluding political events and political fundraisers.
    • Corporate slogans and commonly used taglines that are in well-established use by the sponsor, as long as wording stays within the spirit of these guidelines.
    • A short description of the sponsor and/or their product or service.
  • The statement may include a hypertext link, as long as the link is not to an e-commerce site or to webpages designed specifically to mobilize citizens on a particular issue.

Statements May Not Include:

  • Language that is comparative (better, most) or qualitative (wonderful, excellent).
  • Direct comparisons with other companies or products.
  • Inducements to buy, sell, or lease.
  • Calls to action ("Support HB 2302" or "Buy today").
  • Awards ("Voted best coffee house in McLean").
  • Promotions ("Mention this ad").
  • An endorsement of or opposition to a political candidate, elected representative, or political party.
  • Former elected officials must wait one year after leaving office before becoming a day sponsor and be free from speculation about a potential future bid for elected office.
  • Messages from former elected officials must fit the criteria listed under General Guidelines (above). Because VPAP is subject to an IRS prohibition on political commentary, messages from former candidates may be subject to closer scrutiny.
  • Sponsorship messages will not be accepted from any public official who faced criminal charges related to a violation of the public trust.
  • Names of past or current elected officials may not be included in messages sponsored by others. Exceptions to this policy include a) memorial tributes or b) nonpartisan references to former gubernatorial administrations as long as at least one administration from each political party is included.
  • Under no circumstances can sponsorship messages promote any candidate, elected official, political party, or specific policies or accomplishments.
  • References to specific legislation, government regulations, judicial appointments, or court decisions.
  • Messages that are disparaging to an individual or group.
  • Messages intended to sway people in favor or in opposition of an issue.

Frequency of Sponsorships

  • At times other than during regular Virginia General Assembly sessions and other peak times, a sponsor may underwrite up to ten days per month, based on availability, and no more than five consecutive days. During the General Assembly session, the limit is five days per session and no more than two consecutive days.
  • To the extent possible, in scheduling ads, VPAP will give priority to ensuring that a variety of viewpoints are represented.

All copy, including corporate slogans, is subject to approval of the Virginia Public Access Project. VPAP reserves the right to refuse any day sponsorship.

For more information, contact Ali Mislowsky at .