Class of 2015 Published Letters
Instructions for Letter to the Editor - Please READ
As American citizens, we enjoy the freedom of the press as a civil liberty. However, just like any of our civil liberties, we have a responsibility to use it appropriately and contribute. One way we can do this is to have our voice heard in the press by writing letters to the editor.
You assignment is to write a letter to the editor of a state newspaper. My suggestions would be the Sun-Sentinel, St. Petersburg Times, The Florida-Times Union, and The Miami Herald. A list of newspapers in Florida can be found at the following address, http://www.world-newspapers.com/florida.html
Here’s what to do:
Pick a topic in the news that interests you. It can be something happening in the community, a movement at the National, State or Local level, a proposed bill in congress, etc. Familiarize yourself with the topic and write a letter addressing some specific issue or question you have regarding the topic.
Please see checklists below as there are slight differences between emailing the letter and mailing the letter.
Why is a Letter to the Editor effective?
-It enables us to reach a large audience.
-Elected officials often monitor this section to see how the constituents feel on an issue.
-Allows you to introduce new ideas, information
-Gives you a Voice….a.K.A. Democracy
Tips for Writing a Letter to the Editor:
• Focus on a message
-what do you want the reader to go away with?
• Make it personal
-Show how it affects you, your family, community
-Tell the reader who you are as it may be relevant to the topic you are writing about “Student”, “U.S. Citizen”, “As a young male reader…”
• Be Timely
-Choose a topic that is current or was recently in the news
-Reference the article or event in your letter
“I am writing in response to the article printed on July, 4 entitled, “4th of July fireworks were a blast.”
• Keep it simple
-Be brief: 2 or 3 paragraphs, 2 or 3 sentences -per paragraph
-Stick to 1 or 2 main points or concepts
-Be direct, don’t be afraid to be controversial if needed
• Be Positive
-Don’t criticize the paper or an individual excessively
-Remember, the tone effects how the reader will view your points.
-Chek gramer and spellin’ and re-chek it
-Remember, papers ain’t ever gonna print sumtine that’s got bad gramer and spellin’
• Be sure to include
-Name, Address, Phone #
Many of my past students have had their letters published. It is an excellent feeling to see your work in the paper. I offer extra credit if your letter ends up getting published. One last item, you may or may not want to say that you are a student. Consider if it is relevant to your topic. And please don’t state that you are doing this for a class or use your Southbroward.net email accounts.
Directions for Emailing your Letter - READ CAREFULLY
Both the Miami Herald and the Sun-Sentinel, now accept only e-mailed letters to the editor. For these two newspapers and many others you will need to email your Letter to the Editor. You MUST BCC (blind carbon copy) your letter to LTE@Southbroward.net
How to BCC using Gmail, Yahoo, Aol, and Hotmail. I think with these examples you will have the Idea.
SEND it from your own email address.
DO NOT send your letter as an attachment. The newspapers will not open attachments, because they are worried about viruses. Example
You will still be expected to provide a printed copy of your letter by the due date.
The Email Addresses of the most prevalent newspapers in our area.
Miami Herald - HeraldEd@MiamiHerald.com
Sun-Sentinel - Letters@Sun-Sentinel.com
Be sure that you include an appropriate subject for your email. Do not send your letter as an attachment.
The Sun-Sentinel says the subject should be - Readers Views
The Miami Herald doesn't specify a title, but please make one, maybe - Letter to the Editor
Check out my sample letter
To the Editor:
When the Marlins won the World Series in 1997, the team was dismantled and now that they won again in 2003 they have demanded that we build them a retractable roof stadium or else the team goes off to a place like Las Vegas. In your article “Prospects dim for Marlins stadium deal, September 14” the Mayor of Miami suggests that the public should decide what to do. I think it is ludicrous for anyone on the commission to even suggest that the residents of South Florida should pay for a new stadium. The multi-millionaires that play for the Marlins and those who profit from the teams existence in South Florida should pony up the cash to keep the team here. Is it not apparent that the middle class is disappearing? There have been increases in gas prices, homeowners insurance costs, and generally in goods we buy on a daily basis. These costs have increased for people, and their incomes have not. Would it be fair to place a regressive tax, like a sales tax increase on residents whose budgets are already overstretched? And realistically, lets not have the beggars be the choosers. Do the Marlins really “need” a retractable roof stadium? Lets get real, if the commission is going to give them money to fund the stadium, but the marlins refuse because it has to have a retractable roof, then that is plain wrong. I don’t recall the most prolific player in baseball Babe Ruth demanding that Yankee stadium have a certain type of roof, and neither should Mr. Loria. I think that if the commission and their political cronies want the stadium lets start by taking it out of their salaries.
123 Main Street
Hollywood, FL 33020