DPE: Write a letter to the editor: Tips for Writing an Effective Letter to the Editor

Send a letter to a local or national paper expressing your views on nuclear weapons, missile defense, space weaponization, or another issue.

Guidelines and sample letters

List of newspaper e-mail addresses

Tips for Writing an Effective Letter to the Editor

When writing a letter to the editor, first look at the length and style of the letters that paper usually prints. Normally, letters are about 100 words. Your comment should be timely and relevant and should add something new to the discussion. It helps to refer directly to stories that were published in that paper, referencing the article’s title and date.

Your letter will usually be edited, with or without your final approval. Be sure to include your full name, your city, your organization, and your contact information so the paper can call or email you to verify that you are the author.

Below are some sample letters that GSI’’s staff has published.


Sample Letter 1

The New York Times
Saturday, June 17, 2000

Building a Missile Shield, Holes and All

To the Editor:

In June 15 front-page articles, you report on both legal approval of a limited missile shield and the United States’ plans to drop sanctions against North Korea.

Proponents of national missile defense say that the North Koreans are a looming nuclear threat, and that we must spend $60 billion to stop missiles they don’t even have.

Yet the United States is planning to lift sanctions on North Korea because the Korean leadership showed vision and courage; because it stopped testing its missiles and took diplomatic steps that worked.

So why do timid Democrats and hawkish Republicans still say we need this technologically unsound missile shield when it will risk starting a new arms race with Russia and China?

The wise course is to seek complete elimination of nuclear weapons, something the United States has promised for 30 years with little progress.

San Francisco, June 15, 2000
The writer is program coordinator at the Global Security Institute.

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Sample Letter 2

The New York Times
Monday, August 13, 2001

Our Best Defense

To the Editor:

Conservatives and liberals alike should be wary of the alarmist rhetoric of Americans for Missile Defense (news article, Aug. 6). The coalition’s spokesman, Jeffrey Baxter, suggests that we need a missile defense rather than diplomacy: “When I look at people in North Korea, Libya, Iraq and Iran, understand folks, these folks don’t sit around and watch ‘Seinfeld’ and eat Milky Way candy bars all day.”

Is he suggesting that digesting American popular culture is a prerequisite for rational thought?
It is misleading to suggest that missile defense is an issue for conservatives to rally around. America prides itself on values of freedom and democracy, and assisting, rather than bullying, other countries. A better defense is to strengthen trust and cooperation among people and countries.

Program Director
Global Security Institute
San Francisco, Aug. 6, 2001

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Sample Letter 3

San Francisco Chronicle
Sunday, July 22, 2001

Don’t deploy missile shield

Editor – Michael Kelly’s op-ed column (“Star Wars bullet can hit a bullet,” July 18) asserts that missile defense is attainable, and asks “. . . then why in the world should we not want to attain it?”

Contrary to Mr. Kelly’s assertions, a missile shield would decrease our security. Although administration officials may view the ABM treaty as outdated, Russia and China do not, and their leaders have indicated they would respond by strengthening their nuclear arsenals.
Reckless U.S. unilateralism would erode international law, fuel nuclear proliferation and spark a new arms race, this time in space.

A better way is to honor and strengthen our treaty commitments and move toward the elimination of nuclear weapons.

Global Security Institute
San Francisco

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Sample Letter 4

San Francisco Chronicle
Wednesday, September 19, 2001

The real war against terrorism

Editor — Amid talk of declaring war against terrorism (‘U.S. ultimatum to Taliban,” Sept. 17), there has been little discussion of the political fights that must be won to assure victory.
One battle that we cannot afford to lose is the struggle to end proliferation of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. As tragic as Tuesday’s attacks were, we must face the terrible truth that if the terrorists had acquired and used nuclear weapons, casualties might have been measured in millions instead of thousands.

If the United States is serious about defeating terrorism, we must take the lead in international efforts to inventory and control weapons-grade nuclear material, strengthen the chemical weapons control regime, fully support Russia’s nonproliferation efforts and return to negotiations toward a strong and workable biological weapons convention. Let Tuesday’s tragedy be a call to action to ensure that an attack of this scale will never again occur.

Global Security Institute
San Francisco

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Newspaper e-mail addresses

Akron Beacon Journal vop@thebeaconjournal.com

Arizona Republic opinions@arizonarepublic.com

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette https://www.ardemgaz.com/info/voices.html

Asbury Park Press yourviews@app.com

Atlanta Constitution https://www.accessatlanta.com/partners/ajc/letters/lettersc.html

Atlanta Journal https://www.accessatlanta.com/partners/ajc/letters/lettersj.html

Austin American-Statesman letters@statesman.com

Bergen County Record LettersToTheEditor@bergen.com

Boston Herald letterstoeditor@bostonherald.com

Buffalo News LetterToEditor@buffnews.com

Chicago Daily Herald fencepost@dailyherald.com

Chicago Sun-Times letters@suntimes.com

Chicago Tribune ctc-TribLetter@Tribune.com

Cleveland Plain Dealer letters@plaind.com

Columbia State stateeditor@thestate.com

Contra Costa (CA) Times https://www.hotcoco.com/contact_us/letters.htm

Daily News (New York) voicers@edit.nydailynews.com

Dayton Daily News Edletter@coxohio.com

Denver Rocky Mountain News letters@denver-rmn.com

Detroit Free Press letters@freepress.com

Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel https://www.sun-sentinel.com/services/letters_editor.htm

Fort Worth Star-Telegram letters@star-telegram.com

Fresno Bee https://www.fresnobee.com/man/opinion/letters.html

Grand Rapids Press https://gr.mlive.com/about/letter/

Hartford Courant letters@courant.com

Huston Chronicle viewpoints@chron.com

Indianapolis Star-News stareditor@starnews.com

Kansas City Star letters@kcstar.com

Las Vegas Review-Journal letters@lvrj.com

Lexington Herald-Ledger hleditorial@herald-leader.com

Los Angeles Times letters@latimes.com

Memphis Commercial Appeal letters@gomemphis.com

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel https://www.jsonline.com/news/editorials/submit.asp

Minneapolis Star Tribune opinion@startribune.com

Nashville Tennessean letters@tennessean.com

New York Post letters@nypost.com

New York Times letters@nytimes.com

Newsday letters@newsday.com

Norfolk Virginian-Pilot letters@pilotonline.com

Omaha World-Herald pulse@owh.com

Orange County Register letters@link.freedom.com

Orlando Sentinel insight@orlandosentinel.com

Philadelphia Inquirer Inquirer.Letters@phillynews.com

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette letters@post-gazette.com

Portland (OR) Oregonian letters@news.oregonian.com

Raleigh News & Observer forum@nando.com

Richmond Times-Dispatch letters@timesdispatch.com

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle dceditpage@DemocratandChronicle.com

Sacramento Bee opinion@sacbee.com

San Antonio Express-News letters@express-news.net

San Diego Union Tribune letters@uniontrib.com

San Francisco Chronicle chronletters@sfgate.com

San Jose Mercury News letters@sjmercury.com

Seattle Post-Intelligencer editpage@seattle-pi.com

St. Louis Post-Dispatch letters@postnet.com

St. Paul Pioneer Press letters@pioneerpress.com

St. Petersburg (FL) Times letters@sptimes.com

Star-Ledger (Newark, NJ) eletters@starledger.com

Tacoma News Tribune letters@mail.tribnet.com

The Baltimore Sun letters@baltsun.com

The Birmingham News Epage@bhamnews.com

The Boston Globe letter@globe.com

The Charlotte Observer opinion@charlotte.com

The Cincinnati Enquirer https://enquirer.com/editor/letters.html

The Columbus Dispatch letters@dispatch.com

The Dallas Morning News https://dmnweb.dallasnews.com/letters/

The Denver Post letters@denverpost.com

The Des Moines Register https://www.desmoinesregister.com/letter.html

The Detroit News letters@detnews.com

The Louisville Courier-Journal https://www.courier-journal.com/cjconnect/edletter.htm

The Miami Herald HeraldEd@herald.com

The Oklahoman https://www.oklahoman.com/?ed-writeus

The Palm Beach Post https://www.gopbi.com/partners/pbpost/info/mail.html

The Providence Journal letters@projo.com

The Salt Lake Tribune letters@sltrib.com

The Seattle Times opinion@seattletimes.com

The Tampa Tribune tribletters@tampatrib.com

Toledo Blade letters@theblade.com

Tulsa World letters@tulsaworld.com

USA Today editor@usatoday.com

Wall Street Journal letter.editor@edit.wsj.com

Washington Post Letterstoed@Washpost.com

Wilmington News Journal njletter@newsjournal.com

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