WG/Strategies/Ideas/Letters to the Editor
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1. Write letters to the editor (LTE) of your local and regional newspapers - for both bad and good articles or media pieces.
To find contact info to submit LTE, [try this website]
Letters are guest opinion pieces of about 250 words that allow you to offer a brief rebuttal to or support of an event or article.
LTEs should be written in a timely manner ideally 24-48 hours after the original media piece comes out.
The likelihood of printing in towns that are not where you reside, increases dramatically if you can "tie in" to something in the prior week that the same paper has published
More than one person can send in an LTE on a topic and to a particular paper, in fact we are more likely to get an LTE published if multiple go in.
If you have a "title", like you are part of some organization, you are probably free to say, "Member, Citizens Active in XYZ Org". That is helpful in getting published. But if you're "just a citizen", just put your name at the bottom of the letter, with "Concerned Citizen from" and then put your town.
Watch the press pages of the website or your local/regional papers and write specifically to articles that the publication has released as well as to pieces on the Occupy Boston press site that haven't been addressed by your local/regional paper.
Check with the paper’s limit on the number of words. Write about your feelings about why the Occupation is important to you. If you live or work in Boston or own a business in Boston, specifically if it’s near Dewey Square, be clear about how you feel about the Occupation being in “your neighborhood”. We’ve had people write in and tell us that they love having a “new community center”, and local business owners have said that it’s been great for sales, because of all of the visitors.
We especially need help with:
The Boston Herald: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fox News: email@example.com
Points to cover - not in order
- We have the constitutional right to freedom of assembly and freedom of speech and our politicians active or retired should be actively protecting not actively working against such as former Mayor Raymond L. Flynn has suggested in the shutting down of Occupy Boston.
- Many homeless folks are actively involved in the camp and Occupation are part of making the day to day - Alcohol and drugs are strictly prohibited at Occupy Boston. This decision was made by consensus at the General Assembly
- There is crime in all area of Boston, singling out a few incidents is not indicative of the Occupation , like all public spaces folks need to hold onto their stuff
Why write a letter to the editor · Responding to inaccurate news coverage · Making our opinions known · Praising a reporter for raising awareness · Praising a legislator/policy maker/corporation for supporting transgender communities
EFFECTIVE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR...
- Comply with submission guidelines (check with your local/regional paper)
- Include all contact information so the publication can verify authorship, including what town you’re from
- Carry the most important message in the first paragraph
- Do not assume reader knowledge
- Inform readers of something they are not likely to know
- Contain credibility plugs that demonstrate that you are qualified to write on this topic
- Use positive language rather than negative commands
INEFFECTIVE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR...
- Use self-righteous language
- Exaggerate points
- Make readers feel as though they are being preached to
- Are untimely or irrelevant
- Are impersonal or dull
- Uses personal attacks