Write a letter to the editor of a local newspaper

write a letter to the editor of a local newspaper

A letter to the editor of a local newspaper is a written way of talking to a newspaper, magazine, or other regularly printed publication. Letters to the editor are generally found in the first section of the newspaper, or towards the beginning of a magazine, or in the editorial page.

Why should you write a letter to the editor of a local newspaper?

Letters to the editor are among the most widely read features in any newspaper or magazine. They give you chance to reach a large audience. You can probably think of many more specific reasons why you might want to write to the editor or editor of the local newspaper, but here are a few general ones:

  • You are angry about something and want others to know it
  • Part of your group’s strategy is to persuade others to take a specific action
  • You think that an issue is so important that you have to speak out

And here is other reasons to write a letter to the editor.

  • Suggest an idea to readers or peoples
  • Influence public opinion on a specific topic
  • Educate the general public on a specific matter
  • Influence policy-makers or elected officials directly or indirectly
  • Publicize the work of your group and attract volunteers or program participants

How do you write a letter to the editor of a local newspaper?

OPEN THE LETTER WITH A SIMPLE SALUTATION.

A simple “To the Editor of the Daily Sun,” or just “To the Editor:” is sufficient (In case of if you don’t know the editor’s name. If you have the editor’s name, however, you should use it to increase the possibility of your letter being read.

GRAB THE READER’S ATTENTION.

“The first impression is the last impression.” Your opening sentence is very important. It should tell readers what you’re writing about, and make them want to read more.

Make a Great First Impression

EXPLAIN WHAT THE LETTER IS ABOUT AT THE START.

Throughout your letter, remember the rule:

Be quick,
Be concise, and then
Be quiet.
Don’t make the editor or the general public wait to find out what you want to say. Tell them your key point at the beginning.

EXPLAIN WHY THE ISSUE IS IMPORTANT.

If you are motivated enough to write a letter to a newspaper or magazine, the importance of your topic may seem clear to you. Remember, though, that the general public probably doesn’t share your background or interest. Explain the issue and its importance simply. Use plain language that most people will understand

GIVE EVIDENCE FOR ANY PRAISE OR CRITICISM.

If you are writing a letter discussing a past or pending action, be clear in showing why this will have good or bad results.

STATE YOUR OPINION ABOUT WHAT SHOULD BE DONE.

You can write a letter just to ”vent,” or to support or criticize a certain action or policy, but you may also have suggestions about what could be done to improve the situation. If so, be sure to add these as well. Be specific. And the more good reasons you can give to back up your suggestions, the better.

KEEP IT BRIEF.

Generally, shorter letters have a better chance of being published. So go back over your letter and see if anything can be cut or condensed. If you have a lot to say and it can’t be easily made short, you may want to check with the editor to see if you could write a longer opinion feature or guest column.

SIGN THE LETTER.

Be sure to write your full name (and title, if relevant) and to include your address, phone number, and e-mail address. Newspapers won’t print anonymous letters, though in some cases they may withhold your name on request. They may also call you to confirm that you wrote the letter before they publish it.

CHECK YOUR LETTER TO MAKE SURE IT’S CLEAR AND TO THE POINT.

A newspaper may not print every letter it receives, but clear, well-written letters are likely to be given more serious consideration.

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