A letter-to-the-editor (LtE) is typically a brief response to an article that has been recently published in a print periodical such as a daily or weekly newspaper. Although guidelines vary per outlet, LtEs are typically less than 150 words and usually must be received by the outlet within seven days of the publication date of the article that is being responded to in order to be considered.
In order to write a LtE, you must first find an article to which you’d like to respond. Even when you know there is an issue that is being generally covered in the news media, you should still find a specific article that you can “piggyback” on to and offer a response. It is best to submit a LtE as soon as possible after an article is published.
Before preparing a draft, go online and reference the outlet’s LtE submission policy. This can often be found under the opinion tab or under “contact us." If you do not find the guidelines online, call the newspaper. There are three topics to which you should pay particularly close attention:
These guidelines were developed for the Unitarian Universalist Association's Standing on the Side of Love (SSL) campaign; for additional SSL media materials, please visit SSL's Media 101 resources.
For more information contact web @ uua.org.
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Last updated on Tuesday, March 29, 2011.
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