What is a Letter to the Editor?
A letter to the editor is written to the Editor of a newspaper. Published letters are usually found in the first section of the newspaper or on the editorial page.
Writing them is a great way for activists to do the following:
- Express an opinion about current issues or events;
- Reach a broader audience than you normally would have;
- Hold your local journalists accountable;
- Present alternative views on political issues.
Guidelines for Getting a Letter to the editor Published
Most newspapers have specific publication requirements to follow, but here are some general guidelines that will help get your letter to the editor published:
- Include your name and address and a telephone number where you can be reached.
- Be respectful and courteous, even when disagreeing with the Editorial Board about a specific issue.
- Be specific. If you are opposed to Obamacare, mention the specific reasons why. Provide examples.
- Cite your sources. If you include any quoted material, be sure to correctly cite your source or attribute the quote.
- Use proper grammar. Spellcheck your letter.
- Be concise. Letters are much more likely to be published if they are between 150-200 words.