Write to your Newspaper
Writing letters-to-the-editor (LTE) is an easy way to be involved in the education dialogue and promote the facts. The letter-to-the-editor section is probably the most widely read part of the newspaper. Policymakers even use it to gauge public opinion.
The guidelines below will show you how to write a strong LTE and get it published in the paper. By taking a few minutes to put your thoughts to paper, you could make a big impact in the education dialogue.
How to Submit a Letter-to-the-Editor (LTE):
- Use the following email addresses to send your LTE to the newspaper(s) of your choice:
- Salt Lake Tribune:
- Deseret Morning News:
- Ogden Standard Examiner:
- Provo Daily Herald:
- St. George Spectrum:
- Put your LTE in the body/text of your email. Do not send it as an attachment.
- Include your FULL NAME, ADDRESS, and DAYTIME PHONE NUMBER in the email. (Only your name and city will be made public)
- If you plan to submit your LTE to several newspapers, send the LTE in separate emails to each newspaper.
Keys to a Successful Letter-to-the-Editor (LTE):
- Keep it SHORT. Most papers won't print anything above 250 words. Keep it under 200 words or 2 to 3 short paragraphs.
- Keep it SIMPLE. The best LTE's make one strong point. If you find yourself covering many topics in one LTE, use your other points as starting points for separate LTE's.
- Keep it RELEVANT. News editors like to print LTE's that relate to current events or specific articles and opinion pieces. If you're responding to a specific article or event, be sure to submit your LTE within a few days after the article was printed or event occurred. Include the date and headline of the article you're responding to. If it's an opinion piece you're responding to, include the date and name of the person who wrote the opinion piece.
- Keep it ENTERTAINING. Newspapers print LTE's that are entertaining to read either because they share a powerful story, make a strong case, say something funny, or are just over-the-top. An LTE is the perfect outlet to vent your most outrageous sentiments, so make sure it's not boring or bland.
- Not sure what to write about? As you go through your day, think of an article, event, or person who really missed the point on something related to education. That's the perfect starting point for writing a good LTE.
If they decide to print your Letter-to-the-Editor (LTE)...
- Someone from the newspaper will call you to verify that you were the one who submitted the LTE.
- They will usually ask you to describe what your LTE was about. You don't need to remember every detail, just the general topic.
Other Points to Remember:
- If you are responding to a letter or article in a specific paper, you should submit your letter to that paper. If you are responding to an event covered in all the papers, you can submit the same letter to all the papers.
- It’s entirely appropriate for the same person to send the same letter to different papers.
- Newspapers will only print one LTE from the same author a month.
- If the newspaper hasn't printed your LTE, you can continue to submit it over and over again.
- If you are using Word to draft a letter and want to know how long your piece is, simply click Tools and then Word Count.
- If your thoughts can't be condensed to 250 words or shorter, you might consider writing an Op-Ed, which is more like a column than an LTE. Op-Ed's go through a different submission process than LTE's. Contact us to let us know if you'd like to submit an Op-Ed.
- Be strong, but not shrill in your tone.
- Letters may be edited by the newspaper for clarity, length, taste and libel.
- NO poetry, and NO “open letters,” and NO form letters written by someone else.