Letters to the Editor

When writing a letter to the editor of your local newspaper it is important to clearly list your concerns and articulate the facts. Many times letters to the editor are based on emotion. That is not as effective as a letter based on fact. Research the subject at hand and use the information you have found to write a good letter based on facts that support your side.

When preparing your message, work diligently to simplify your message so that it can be easily understood by all who will read it - Politicians, supporters and potential volunteers will appreciate your suc ­cinct, articulate views.

Magazines, community newspapers, church newsletters . . . chances are, all of them accept letters to the editor. These publications are in business because of their readers, and they want to hear from you! Writing a letter to the editor is not difficult and can be a lot more influential than you think.

Think of a publication that you read regularly and find a recent article that you can tie into your subject.

Here are some examples of ways you might begin a letter:

  • "Your newspaper's article highlighting the need for more faith-based initiatives in our city was right-on [article title, date]. . ."
  • "My family and I were encouraged to read that Senator Demint will introduce a bill to increase funding for faith-based inititives [article title, date] . . ."
  • "I was saddened to learn of the Board's decision that will end the practice of engaging in a pre-meeting invocation [article title, date]. . ."

Remember:

  • Limit your letter to one subject and keep it brief - Check the publication's guidelines to be sure you stay within the maximum number of words allowed.
  • Make it timely and relevant to current news.
  • Re-read your letter and be sure it is something you, as a reader, would like to see in that publication. Does it state your argument clearly, back it up with facts, and maintain a civil tone?
  • Include your contact information so the publication can get in touch with you if it needs to.
  • Have fun and let us know if your letter is published!

Click here and here for listings of newspaper contact information from all across the country.