WRITING TO THE EDITOR
Writing letters to the editor can be an effective way of sharing your opinion and inspiring others to take positive action on issues that are of concern to you. Political leaders and other policy makers rely upon the editorials in newspapers to gauge the views of their constituents.
A letter to the editor, an op-ed piece, or a posting to a blog website may inspire everyday citizens to take action that truly makes a difference, and it even may inspire a reporter to pursue the issue further with a more in-depth article focusing on your issue. Writing a letter to the editor gives you a chance to inspire action in people whom you will probably never meet.
The key to getting your message out is to write a letter that has a chance to be published. Newspapers and other media receive many more letters than they have room to publish. So, ensure that your letter is concise (between 150 300 words), makes one simple point or deals with one basic issue, and follows the policies set forth by the media outlet. That way, you strengthen your chances of seeing your letter in print and of inspiring others to take action on your issue.
After you have written your letter, proofread it. Set the letter aside for a while and come back to look it over with fresh eyes. When you read it, consider the reader. Does your letter communicate your point clearly? Do your words inspire action? If you're not sure, ask a friend or family member to read your editorial before you send it.
Send your letter to the editor. You can do this by email, fax or standard mail. Check with the recipient organization on the preferred method. If you are sending a letter to a newspaper, be sure to sign your letter and provide your name printed clearly along with your address and telephone number. Newspapers will not publish anonymous letters, and although the newspaper will not share your address and phone number with its readers, someone from the paper may call you to confirm your identity. (Suggestions provided by volunteerguide.org)
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