Writing a letter to the editor of your local newspaper can be an extremely effective way to influence public opinion and shape legislators’ views. Letters to the editor reach a large audience, are often monitored by public officials, can bring up information not addressed in a news article, and can help create the impression of widespread support for or opposition to an issue. Plus, they’re fun to read. The “Letter to the Editor” section is often one of the most widely read sections of the newspaper!

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

Newspapers in larger cities have more readers, but your local weekly newspaper is important, too.

Policymakers usually monitor all publications in their district and it’s important your friends and neighbors hear about your ideas as well.

Include your contact information

Many newspapers will only print a letter to the editor after calling the author to verify their identity and address. Newspapers will not give out that information, and will usually only print your name and city should your letter be published.

Sign it and send it

Click on one of the North Dakota newspapers below to send your letter:

 

 

Stay informed

ACLU of North Dakota is part of a network of affiliates

Learn more about ACLU National