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Letters to the Editor

One thing I’ve been trying to do lately is, when I see newspapers make wildly inaccurate statements, to try to get a letter to the editor in. I haven’t had much luck so far, but if my luck changes I might point them out here.

The hard part about Letters to the Editor is that they typically want you to keep them under 200 words, and if you’ve ever tried to address a lot of issues in that kind of word space, you know how hard it can be.

But I think there’s probably not much better you can do to have an impact on the debate within your community. Letters to legislators are good, but getting a Letter to the Editor placed can influence hundreds or thousands of other people, and also lets the paper’s editorial board know they got something wrong.

5 Responses to “Letters to the Editor”

  1. Jeff says:

    I find it very hard to stay under 200 words also……sometimes you can get them to publish a guest editorial which will give you a bit more. Here is my 300 page guest editorial on the Westroads Mall/New Life Church shootings:

    http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071212/EDIT02/712120319/1090/EDIT

  2. Jeff says:

    See it told you…300 page editorial is probably what I started out with, but sadly it really is only 300 words. LOL

  3. Bitter says:

    How many times do I have to say that a good LTE doesn’t nitpick every point? Even if it’s a major correction, you can’t focus on more than one or two.

    Stick to one, no more than two, issues in your LTE. And really, they shouldn’t be any longer than 150 words. If you shorten it, it’s more likely to get published because it takes up less room.

  4. PN NJ says:

    Also, if you keep it short your letter won’t get mangled by the newspaper, and your talking points will remain clear.

  5. Rob K says:

    I think being in their subscriber area, or at least originally from it helps a lot because it makes you connected to the community they intend to serve. If you’re non-local and just writing to gripe about something they said, you’re not likely to get published.

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