Tips on Writing a Letter to the Editor
Letters to the editor are great advocacy tools. After you contact your elected officials, sending letters to the editor can achieve other advocacy goals because they:
- reach a large audience.
- are often monitored by elected officials.
- can bring up information not addressed in a news article.
- establish broad grassroots support for or opposition to an issue.
Keep it short and on one subject.
Many newspapers have strict limits on the length of letters and have limited space to publish them. Typically aim for 200 words.
Make it personal.
Share your own story or experiences - don't worry about trying to be an expert. Start by talking about who you are, then describe a problem or concern, then talk about a solution.
Send letters to weekly community newspapers too.
Policymakers usually monitor all publications in their district and its important your friends and neighbors hear about your ideas as well.
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.
Make references to the newspaper.
Some papers print general commentary but many favor letters that refer to a specific article. Here are some examples of easy ways to refer to articles in your opening sentence:
- I was disappointed to see that The Post's May 18 editorial "School Vouchers Are Right On" omitted some of the key facts in the debate.
- I strongly disagree with (author's name) narrow view on women's reproductive rights. ("Name of Op-Ed," date)
- I am deeply saddened to read that Congressman Doe is working to roll back affirmative action. ("Title of Article," date)
- Or for a general letter: I urge all Nebraskans to learn more about LB XX an important bill pending in the Nebraska Legislature that impacts our land and our water.
Where to submit your letter.
13 East 22nd Street
P.O. Box 1988
Kearney, NE 68847
Grand Island Independent
422 W. 1st St
Grand Island, NE 68801
Voice of the People
P.O. Box 788
Hastings, NE 68902
Scottsbluff Star Herald
Scottsbluff, NE 69361
North Platte Telegraph
621 N. Chestnut
The People Speak
P.O. Box 648
Columbus, NE 68602-0648
Beatrice Daily Sun
200 N. Seventh St.
Beatrice, NE 68310-0847
P.O. Box 9
Fremont, NE 68026
Norfolk Daily News
525 Norfolk Avenue
Norfolk, NE 68701
Sioux City Journal
515 Pavonia St.
Sioux City, Iowa 51101
York News Times
327 Platte Ave
York, NE 68467
McCook Daily Gazette
W. First and E Streets
P.O. Box 1268
McCook, NE 69001
Don't see you local newspaper on the list?
Contact them to submit your letter and engage your community!