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Letters to the Editor

 

Letters to the Editor (LTE) Guidelines

To become an effective LTE writer, acquaint yourself with letters to the editor in your local newspaper. Evaluate the LTE by considering the following:

 

  • did the LTE likely persuade anyone?

  • did the LTE add anything new to the public conversation?

  • how could the LTE have been more effective?

 

Before you begin, identify the issue you want to write about. Ask yourself:

 

  • why should readers care about my issue?

  • why do I care about it?

  • what new perspective or information can I add to the public conversation on this issue?

  • who the audience for this issue?

  • whose minds am I trying to change?

  • how can I capture my readers’ interest?

 

Writing Tips

 

  • Your LTE should be timely; respond to a recently published article, a topic of current interest, or a recent or upcoming event.

  • Keep it simple. Focus on one topic and make one point.

  • Be direct; state your topic and viewpoint clearly.

  • Be brief; LTEs are usually 200-250 words long (be sure to adhere to the newspaper’s word count limit).

  • Be yourself; don’t try to sound like an academic or policy expert. You’re a smart, passionate citizen who’s paying attention, and that’s powerful.

  • If you have expertise on your LTE topic, mention it or attach a credential to your signature. Knowledge and experience add heft to your opinion.

  • Be relatable; describe how the topic affects you or others.

  • Be concrete; use an example, statistic, or quote to help clarify or illustrate your point.

  • Be clear; if you want readers to take action, say so.

 

Newspapers that Accept LTEs

 

Papers with statewide readership publish LTEs by residents from all over the state. Oregon’s statewide papers are The Oregonian, Portland Tribune, Bend Bulletin, Eugene Register-Guard, and the Statesman Journal.

 

Local and regional papers publish LTEs by residents who live in their distribution area. (During an election year, they may publish letters from residents within their congressional district.)

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Don’t forget community, ethnic, and religious newspapers and papers directed to professionals. These small publications reach many readers and are often hungry for content.

 

How to Submit an LTE

 

Virtually all newspapers now accept LTE submissions by email or via a website submission form; check your newspaper’s opinion section for instructions.

 

Submit your LTE to one newspaper at a time. If the paper doesn’t contact you within a week, feel free to submit to another paper.

  

If your LTE is not published, don't take it personally. Editors can only accept a few LTEs at a time, and they often get hundreds of submissions. Even if your LTE isn't published, it will help boost the signal that this topic is important. Keep submitting to a variety of papers.

 

                                               Oregon Newspapers     

ALBANY   Albany Democrat-Herald   Link to Editor   250 word limit


ASHLAND   Ashland Daily Tidings   Link to Editor   200 word limit, 150 elections

ASTORIA   The Daily Astorian   Link to Editor


BAKER CITY   Baker City Herald   Link to Editor


BANDON   Bandon Western World    Link to Editor  400 word limit


BEND   Bend Bulletin    Link to Editor   250 word limit


BROOKINGS   Curry Pilot    Link to Editor   250 word limit


BURNS   Burns Times Herald   Link to Editor

COLUMBIA COUNTY   Pamplin Media Group   Link to Editor  200 word limit


COOS BAY   The World    Link to Editor   400 word limit


CORVALLIS   Gazette-Times    Link to Editor  250 word limit

ENTERPRISE   Wallowa County Chieftain   Link to Editor   250 word limit


EUGENE   Register-Guard   Link to Editor   250 word limit


FLORENCE   The Siuslaw News   Link to Editor


GRANTS PASS   Grants Pass Daily Courier   Link to Editor   250 word limit


HERMISTON   Hermiston Herald   Link to Editor   250 word limit


HOOD RIVER   Hood River News   Link to Editor   350 word limit

JOHN DAY   Blue Mountain Eagle   Link to Editor   350 word limit


KLAMATH FALLS   Herald and News   Link to Editor   310 word limit


LA GRANDE   La Grande Observer   Link to Editor   350 word limit

LINCOLN CITY   The News Guard    Link to Editor   250 word limit

MADRAS   Pamplin Media Group   Link to Editor   200 word limit

MADRAS  Madras Pioneer   Link to Editor   Politics limit 200 words


MEDFORD   Mail Tribune   Link to Editor   200 word limit, 150 elections


NEWPORT   News Times   541-265-8571   Link to Editor


ONTARIO   Argus Observer   Link to Editor   300 word limit


​PENDLETON   East Oregonian   Link to Editor   400 word limit


PORTLAND   The Oregonian   Link to Editor   250 word limit

PORTLAND   The Portland Tribune   Link to Editor   200 word limit

​PORTLAND SUBURBS   Pamplin Media Group   Link to Editor   200 word limit
Each of these communities has a separate paper within Pamplin Media Group:
   Beaverton, Clackamas, Canby, Estacada, Forest Grove, Gresham, Hillsboro, Lake Oswego, Molalla,

   Newberg, Oregon City, Sandy, Sellwood, Tigard, Tualatin, West Linn, Wilsonville, Woodburn

 

PRINEVILLE   Central Oregonian   Link to Editor   Political 200 word limit


ROSEBURG   The News-Review   Link to Editor   300 word limit


SALEM   Statesman Journal   Link to Editor   200 word limit


SISTERS   Nugget Newspaper   Link to Editor   300 word limit


THE DALLES   The Dalles Chronicle   Link to Editor   400 word limit, 250 elections


TILLAMOOK   HHeadlight-Herald     Link to Editor   500 word limit