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Home Action Media Outreach Letters to the Editor Legislative Action - Letters to the Editor
Legislative Action - Letters to the Editor PDF Print E-mail

What are Letters to the Editor?
Letters to the editor (LTE's) most often discuss a recent event or issue covered by a publication, radio station, or TV program. Widely read, LTE's are your chance to "sound-off" to your community about issues in the news.

Elements / Hints
- It is much easier to publish a letter to the editor than it is to place an op-ed
- Your letter has the best chance of being published if it is a reaction to a story in the paper. Respond as quickly as you can.
- Read the letters page, you will learn how to develop an effective letter-writing style, and you will see if someone has already responded with your idea.
- Keep it short and concise (150-200 words). The paper will take the liberty to shorten your letter to suit its format; the more it has to cut, the less control you have of what gets printed. Lead with your most important information.
- Focus on one main point and make a compelling case.
- Write in short paragraphs, with no more than three sentences per paragraph.
- Don't write too often. Once every three months is about as often as you should write.
- Avoid personal attacks.
- Put your full name at the bottom, and include a phone number for verification purposes.
- Follow up to see if the letter was received.

Click here to read some recent letters to the editor written by SOA Watch activists.


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