Newsletter - Animal Writes sm
From  Issue
31 March 2002
Why Should I Write a Letter to the Editor of my Local Newspaper?

Source: API's Spring Issue of "Animal Issues," pp 20-25.
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While not everyone reads the opinion pages of the newspaper, the most influential people certainly do! Public and corporate officials, as well as the media, PAY GREAT ATTENTION to what appears in opinion letters and columns. Having a letter published, particularly in a major paper, is probably the single most effective action you can take on behalf of animals. It takes very little time and costs nothing but the price of a first-class stamp or logging onto the Internet.

However, if your letter is timely, concise, and written well; it stands a VERY GOOD CHANCE OF BEING PUBLISHED, especially by the smaller, local papers. The best opportunities for submitting letters to the editor are in response to a recent news item, opinion piece or another letter that appeared in the paper, or in anticipation of an event such as a vote on animal-related legislation, the circus's arrival in town, the annual Fur-Free Friday or Meatout observances, Easter, Christmas, etc. etc.

The first step is to determine the newspaper's requirements for submitting letters. This information is available by calling the paper, checking the paper's website, or looking on the letters page itself. If no word limit is specified, keep your letter to 200-250 words. Restrict your remarks to two or three points on one subject. HUMOR, IRONY, AND EVEN SARCASM in moderation CAN WORK WELL.

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