Letter To The Editor (LTE): A Letter to the Editor is a letter written to the editor of daily printed publications to highlight the social issues of concern. In other words, it is a formal letter sent to a newspaper or a magazine to discuss the problems from its readers. The format of the letter should be followed strictly. It can also be written to get it published either through conventional mail or electronic mail. Usually, letters are intended for publishing in newspapers and magazines. But, sometimes published in other mediums like entertainment and technical magazines, radio and TV stations.
In general, Letter to the Editor will be seen in the first section of a newspaper or at the starting of a magazine. It describes for or against an issue or both. It can be written to create a lot of community discussion and stimulate the interest of the news media. A Letter to the Editor has already been a feature of an American newspaper. Early American newspapers delivered many news reports and commentaries published by them in the form of letters.
Editors read all submissions but most will automatically reject letters. Rejected letters include personal attacks to individuals or a particular organization, profanity, libelous statements, unreasonably lengthy or submitted anonymously. The larger the newspaper or magazine, there will be more competition for LTE space. That means you need to write a prominent letter in order to get printed. Submitting an LTE under a false name to criticize an opponent can have important consequences.
Get Other Types of Letter Writing like Formal, Informal and Different Types of Letter Writing Samples.
Reasons for Writing A Letter To The Editor
A Letter to the Editor is the most popular read feature in any newspaper or magazine. It allows you to reach a large audience. One can probably think of many specific reasons to write a Letter to the Editor. But, below-given are some of the general reasons for writing a Letter to the Editor:
- An individual gets angry at something and wants others to know it.
- An individual thinks a specific issue or problem is very important which needs to be spoken out.
- An individual’s group’s strategy is to convince others to take a particular action.
- An individual wants to propose an idea to others.
- An individual wants to impact public opinion.
- An individual wants to educate the general public on a particular matter.
- An individual wants to impact policymakers or elected officials in a direct or indirect way.
- An individual wants to publicize your group work and attract volunteers.
- An individual can write LTE any time to discuss public opinion, share your feelings about people, ideas, or inform the public on particular issues.
- An individual can increase the awareness of issues on which their organization is working.
- An individual can use LTE to begin a conversation on important issues. A planned set of LTEs can inspire public interest and media coverage.
- If newspapers unfailingly disregard your news releases.
How To Submit a Letter to the Editor?
In general, every print publication prefers to get letters and other material through email. Since everything they publish is available on a computer and printed from software. You can still send a postal letter but it’s time- consuming and you have to wait longer after it’s received for printing. Make sure to submit the letter in MS Word as an email attachment to the editor. Submit your letter after the publication of the original paper.
Then, the editors will attempt to include your letter in the next journal issue. Only high quality and sound scientific principles letters will be published. All submitted letters will be reviewed by the members of the Editorial Board. It depends on the editors on whether or not to publish the letter. The editors have the right to shorten and edit the letter if required.
How Can be A Letter to the Editor Accepted
A Letter to the Editor will get published depending on a certain extent on the publication. The New York Times probably receives thousands of letters a day but only some will get printed. However, in small-towns, newspapers may print every letter as it may get only two or three a day. In general, newspapers and magazines will publish letters that represent particular points of opinion on issues, well-written, and articulate issues and events. Most publications stay away from publishing attacks on particular people and libelous statements.
The following tips are helpful for getting your letters accepted by the editor:
- Make sure to write your letter up to 300 words. Editors have limited space for printing letters and policies regarding length.
- Make sure to write the most important points in the first paragraph. Editors may edit some parts of your letter and they perform it from the bottom to up.
- Write a recent event in your community or a recent article.
- You can use local statistics and personal stories to explain your point.
- Make sure to include your title and name since it shows believability.
- Make sure to include your phone number and email as editors may contact you.
- You may submit a revised version of your letter at a later date if it is not accepted for the first time. You may include different angles on the issue in the revised version of the letter.
- You can also submit a disclosure of interest form along with the letter.
Letter To The Editor Format
Refer to the following points to know the format of Letter to the Editor
- Sender’s address: Make sure to write the sender’s address and contact details. Also, include email and phone number, if necessary.
- Date: Make sure to write the date below the sender’s address excluding one space or line.
- Receiving Editor’s address: You should mention the address of the recipient that is the editor’s address.
- The Subject of the letter: It must convey the main purpose of the letter to the readers. So that they will get interested in reading more. It should be mentioned in one line.
- Salutation: Make sure to write Sir/ Respected Sir/ Madam. If you know the editor’s name then you should write it to increase the chances of readability of your letter.
- Body: It includes the matter of the letter. It should contain 3 paragraphs as given below:
- Paragraph 1: In general, shorter letters have more possibilities to get published. So, check your letter and edit the content, if required. A newspaper may give more importance to a clear and well-written letter. So, you should introduce yourself and write in brief the purpose of writing the letter.
- Paragraph 2: It should contain the details of the matter. Describe the issues and their significance. You should write a simple language to make it understandable to most people. You may also include proposals about how to improve the situation.
- Paragraph 3: You should conclude here by writing about your expectations from the editor. For example, your expectations to highlight the issues in his newspaper or magazine.
- Complimentary Conclusion
- Sender’s Name, Signature, and Designation
Make sure to write your full name, signature, and designation, if any. You can also include your address, phone number, and email.
Letter To The Editor Template
Sometimes students may ask to write a Letter to the Editor in the examination. So, students can refer to the following Letter to the Editor Samples to write in the examination.
Sample 1 – Letter To The Editor on Social Problems
You are Shilpa S, a member of NGO Sargam. Write a Letter to the Editor for a public campaign to clean the Yamuna river.
46, Madanpur Khadar,
New Delhi – 76
Dated: 25 July 2018
Subject: Need for a public campaign to clean Yamuna river
I am Shilpa S, a member of NGO Sargam. I am writing to you in order to highlight the declining situation of the river Yamuna.
The city of Delhi is getting polluted water from the Yamuna river. The residents are being blamed for this. They pollute the river with muck, dirt, and garbage. The river water is filled with waste materials, plastic, bacteria, and chemicals. It is not in good condition for consumption.
The public has been trying for a Water Treatment Plant. Still, the authorities have not responded to the continual requests.
Therefore, I request you to highlight the issue in your newspaper and generate public interest. We all have to come forward to set up the plant in the area.
Sample 2 – Letter to The Editor About Road Problems
You are Raman studying in the Public School of Mumbai. The road leading to your school is full of potholes and also congested. Most of the working-class people are staying in this locality. They are very often stuck in traffic jams. The Government has not taken any action till now for road construction. Write a letter to the Editor of ‘The Times of India’ drawing the attention of the Govt to the issue faced by the people, requesting them for road construction.
Dated: 11th January 2018
The Times of India
Subject: Construction of Road in Gandhinagar
I am Raman, a resident of Gandhinagar. I am writing to you in order to raise the issue people face in my locality due to the bad condition of the road.
The road leading to Public School is so congested throughout the day. It is the main road but there are potholes everywhere on the road. Mainly during the morning hours, people are facing horrible situations when they are going to their workplaces. A Public School is also situated on this road. So, school students and parents get irritated as they are stuck here very often in traffic jams. These locality peoples made many representations to the government, but no action has been taken so far to improve the bad condition of the road. That is why now through this letter we want to draw the attention of the Govt.
As the situation is not good, I request you to highlight it through your newspaper. So that the Govt will take some action to improve the road condition.
Sample 3 – Letter To The Editor About Your Problems in Your Locality
You are Vikas, a resident of Mayur Vihar, New Delhi. Write a Letter to the Editor of ‘Hindustan Times’ to highlight the absence of a playground in your locality.
120, Mayur Vihar,
Dated: 8th September 2018
Subject: Absence of playground in our locality
I am Vikas, a resident of Mayur Vihar. I am writing to you in order to bring the attention of the concerned authorities towards the absence of the playground and sports facilities in our locality. These are the necessary activities for all age peoples in current times. The increase in pollution, contracting open space due to industrialization, an increase in traffic, etc. have contributed to the decline of the environment and human health. The absence of open spaces in the residential areas and townships has further provoked the issue. The lack of playgrounds and open spaces has deprived the joy of children playing outdoor games. So, it has affected their physical growth and development.
Through the columns of your reputed newspaper, I request the concerned authorities to look into this problem. So that they will provide a playground and sports facilities in our locality.