Writing letters to the editor of your local paper is a great way
to energize other nurses, promote ANA and CMA visibility in the community, and
spread the word about important issues. Letters to the Editor (LTEs) can be
used to correct and clarify facts in a previous news story, oppose or support
the actions of an elected official or agency, direct attention to a problem,
spur news editors to cover an issue that is being overlooked, or urge readers to
support your cause. LTEs are especially effective in local, community papers.
You can send letters by fax, e-mail, or through the mail.
Tips on Effective Letters To the Editor
Most paper's length limit on LTEs is around 250
words. Stick to this so that an editor does not cut out the important points of
your letter. Some papers require a typed letter. Others may want it sent over
e-mail. Often newspapers want your address and phone number so they can verify
that you wrote the letter.
You can usually find a paper's guidelines on the
letters page. If not, call the paper directly or visit its
- Avoid form letters
Do not send the same letter
to two competing papers in the same circulation area, or many copies of an
identical letter to a single