Did you know that the “opinions” section of the newspaper is the most read section?
Share your message! Send a Letter to the Editor (LTE) of Your Local Newspaper!
1) Check the “opinions” section of the paper to see what the guidelines are. LTEs are usually limited to 150 words or less, although some papers allow 250 words.
2) Write compelling content and email it to your local paper.
Here are LTE contacts for some of the local papers:
Boulder Daily Camera; 303-444-3444; firstname.lastname@example.org
Boulder Weekly: (303) 494-5511; email@example.com
- Put a clear, catchy title in the subject line
- If there has recently been an article in the paper related to your issue, refer to it and the editorial staff is much more likely to print/post it. Put Re: “The name at the top of the article” (Name of Paper, date article was printed) at the top of your letter.
- Always put your full name, phone #(s), and address at the bottom
- Call to make sure they received it and ask if they plan to print your letter
Sample LTE: (4/15/15 Boulder Daily Camera)
Ken Bonetti: TPP is about corporate supremacy
[In an ideal world it would refer to a recent article, e.g.:] “Re: Jared Polis still not committing to oppose TPP (Daily Camera, April 14)
Congressman Jared Polis still doesn’t get it. Over 150 Democrats and 40 Republicans in the House of Representatives have joined forces to oppose a legislative sleight of hand called Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), better known as “fast track” to gain congressional approval of an international agreement known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Fast track circumvents public debate to allow easy passage of TPP with little debate and no amendments. Inexplicably, Mr. Polis is still sitting on the fence despite repeated calls by constituents to stand against TPA and TPP as currently written.
TPP is much more about establishing corporate supremacy over people, communities, states and nations than about free trade. TPP would empower corporations to sue governments for protecting American jobs, ensuring safe products, protecting the environment and providing affordable drugs. Suits would be tried in so-called ‘investor-state tribunals’ staffed by corporate lawyers who also represent corporate clients. Heavy fines would be levied against taxpayers. TPP has been negotiated in near total secret by governments and corporate “advisors.” Leaked documents have revealed what is in store if TPP is approved by Congress.
The last time fast track was employed, we got the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which destroyed nearly a million U.S. jobs and laid waste to the Mexican economy, impoverishing millions of Mexican farmers and initiating a mass flow of desperate immigrants into the U.S. Some analysts have called TPP “NAFTA on steroids.”
Mr. Polis needs to hear from many more Boulder County voters. Tell him to oppose TPA so TPP can be debated in public, not ratified in secret. Mr. Polis can be contacted online at http://polis.house.gov/contact/ or at (303) 484-9596. Ask him to represent people rather than corporations.
[In his email, Ken would have put his home address and a phone # where he can be reached here, so the paper can confirm he’s a real local person.]
Opinion Editorials (Op-Eds)
An opinion editorial is also in the opinion section of the newspaper, but far fewer of them are printed, so they are harder to get in the paper. The upside is that you are usually allowed between 650-750 words, allowing you to go far more into detail on the issue. It is advisable to call the editor to discuss the op ed you plan to submit to find out if they might be interested first. Then email the op ed and follow up with another call to make sure it was received and ask if they plan to print/post it. As with a LTE, it is best if it’s a hot topic; ideally something that has been covered in the paper recently that you can refer to. See your local papers for an example of the types of op eds they print.