Get your letter to the editor published

Writing a letter to the editor is a powerful method to put your point across to a vast audience at no cost.

  • For maximum chance of getting published:

–         Respond as quickly as possible to issues raised in the news.  The issue may not be news tomorrow.

–         Refer and reply to another letter or article in the same publication.

–         Keep your letter 200-400 words long

–         Include your name, street address and telephone no at the bottom. (The newspaper may want to check you want it published).

–         Look at the length and style of the letters published in your newspaper and try to copy this.

–         Find out the name and title of the letters page editor and address to him/her.

  • Explain why the topic is important to you and give a little background on it and what your opponents are saying (perhaps referring to a previous letter or article).  Then explain why your view is correct.
  • If you speak on behalf of an organisation, say so in the letter and under your signature.  This helps create credibility.
  • Do not copy other people’s words.  State your own view in your own words.
  • Check your facts carefully before you send it.  Slight inaccuracies or misquotations could undermine your credibility.
  • Check your letter and ask someone else to proof read it for grammar and spelling.
  • If you have a specific reason why you don’t want your name to be used, ask a friend to send it for you or alternatively use a pseudonym.  eg. Sign it with a name like ‘Deeply concerned’ or ‘Medical student’ or ‘Offended taxpayer’.  You must still include your real name and street address below this.
  • After you have sent the letter, wait a few days.  If it is not published, then phone the letters editor and ask why it was not published.  Don’t accept the excuse given – ask them to publish it.
  • Stick to one subject – don’t try to cover too many issues.
  • Avoid being aggressive, using abusive language or ridiculing those we oppose.  Always offer hope to those caught in sin.
  • Use business letter format:

–         Flush left Colon after greeting

–         Comma after closing

–         Your name and title

  • If you email to more then one newspaper, then send as separate individual emails.
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