Write a Letter to the Editor

Write a letter in response an article concerning the issue you're interested in when it's featured in your local newspaper.

Keep it short and on one subject. Many newspapers have strict limits on the length of letters and have limited space to publish them. Keeping your letter brief will help assure that your important points are not cut out by the newspaper.

Make references to the newspaper. While some papers print general commentary, many will only print letters that refer to a specific article. It is best to reference the article in the first part of your letter.

Be accurate. Support your letter with facts, statistics, citations or other evidence.

Open your letter with a strong statement. The statement might point out an error or misrepresentation in an article, disagree with an editorial position, or add to the discussion by pointing out something readers need to know.

Make it readable and legible. Write short sentences, grouped in two or three paragraphs. Also, you should use a computer if your handwriting is difficult to read.  Many newspapers allow letters to be submitted by email or online.

Send letters to weekly community newspapers too. The smaller the newspaper's circulation, the more likely it is that your letter will be printed.

Be sure to include your contact information. Many newspapers will only print a letter to the editor after calling the author to verify his or her identity and address. Newspapers will not give out that information, and will usually only print your name and city should your letter be published.