Excerpt from Chapter 3

The media in our country plays a tremendous role in the shaping of public opinion about important issues. An effective tool in influencing public opinion and policy, the media plays an equally important role in educating the community on a piece of legislation and the problems it addresses.

The media is a good means of notifying both legislators and the community on legislation and its significance. Newspaper articles or letters to the editor have an additional impact on, and allow the legislator to see, how important the issue is to his or her constituency. You can write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper to alert the general public about problems that need to be addressed or to applaud a local legislator.

Tips on Writing Letters to the Editor

Follow these general tips when writing letters to the editor. (Though publication policies vary, the following advice is generally acceptable.)

  • Keep your letter brief. Many newspapers will not consider letters longer than 200-300 words.

  • Give your full name, address and telephone number. Anonymous letters generally are not published.

  • Keep to the point.

  • Be polite, even when you disagree with the story or editorial you are responding to…..