12 tips for letter writers
By The Tribune-Review
Published: Sunday, Aug. 21, 2005,
Even the ACLU knows you have no constitutional right to have a letter to the editor published in a newspaper or magazine.
But any responsible and customer-friendly publication -- i.e., one that wants to be fair and balanced and open to criticism and correction -- will encourage its readers to exercise their freedom of speech on its letters pages.
Ideally, a letters-page editor wants every missive he receives to be short, smart and perfectly written. And always 200 words or less. And timely, accurate, credible, rational, informative, funny, passionate, persuasive and entertaining.
Alas, the world is not perfect and not all letter writers are created equal.
So to improve the chances of seeing your two-cents' worth printed in your favorite opinion section, here -- from someone who has read, selected and edited roughly 10,000 letters to the editor from folks like Cher, Rick Santorum and Oren Spiegler -- is some free advice.
If you can't write one in your own words, please don't send it.
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