In a letter to the editor or opinion piece, you can bring up information not addressed in a news article, and can create the impression of widespread support or opposition to an issue. When you write a letter to the editor, be sure to do the following.
Print Writing a letter to the editor or an opinion editorial op-ed can be a useful way to share your knowledge about infant-toddler issues with the local community and policymakers.
In addition, letters to the editor and op-eds are a way of reaching a much wider audience with your messages about the healthy development of infants and toddlers and how policy can positively impact babies, toddlers and their families.
State legislators and federal lawmakers regularly read the opinion pages of newspapers for clues about issues of concern in their community.
Download the full article for more details about these strategies and a few examples of opinion pieces that were published, so you can get a sense for how to put the strategies into practice.
Some newspapers have an online submission form which you can use. Keep it brief and to the point Letters should be concise — typically newspapers have a word limit of about words about 3 paragraphs.
Editors are less likely to print long letters. Make your letter timely Tie the subject of your letter to a recent article, editorial or column. Use that article as a hook for communicating your message. Small-circulation newspapers usually print many of the letters they receive.
Localize your letter Explain how infants and toddlers in your community will be affected. Lend credibility to your letter by noting your professional experiences in the community that prompted you to write on this topic. Begin your letter with a big idea or value level one that provides a context for understanding the more specific details levels two and three of your communication.
For example, The Early Head Start program has made it a priority to provide the best start in life for all its babies and toddlers, so that their children will grow up to be good citizens of the community.
The Early Head Start program offers an array of services to pregnant women, infants, toddlers and their families, including home visitation, parent support, early learning and access to medical, mental health and early intervention services.
But this community program cannot succeed without adequate federal support for Early Head Start. Reauthorization of Early Head Start is right around the corner.
Be mindful of the tone of your letter The tone of your letter can either support or overpower the substance of the message you are trying to communicate. Therefore, choosing and controlling tone2 is an important element of your communication. Write about good news, not just bad Thank the paper when appropriate for its positive and accurate coverage of an infant-toddler issue.
Or thank a policymaker for being a champion for infants and toddlers in the state or community. Include your name, title, address and daytime phone number Editors like to confirm that the letter was actually written by the person whose name is on it.
Also be sure to provide your professional title and affiliation, as it lends credibility to your letter. Consider other newspapers for publication Many metropolitan areas have free weekly community newspapers that go to thousands of homes. Many cities also have newspapers for specific ethnic groups.And, just like a news item, make your most important point right in the beginning.
And, it goes without saying, you always write a letter to the editor in first-person. The opinion pages of The Oregonian include the editorials and columns by The Oregonian's editorial board and associate editors, as well as letters to the editor, "In My Opinion" commentary pieces.
Due to the volume of mail, though, it isn't possible to publish all letters readers send. Those letters selected for publication are a representative sampling of the letters received.
In a letter to the editor or opinion piece, you can bring up information not addressed in a news article, and can create the impression of widespread support or opposition to an issue.
When you write a letter to the editor, be sure to do the following. Due to the volume of mail, though, it isn't possible to publish all letters readers send. Those letters selected for publication are a representative sampling of the letters received. Letters must be under words to be considered for publication.
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Only the writer's full name and city will be published. Writing a letter to the editor or an opinion editorial (op-ed) can be a useful way to share your knowledge about infant-toddler issues with the local community and policymakers.