LTE Tips and Tools

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TOOLS instant contact to media sources. These cover the state of Oregon and they are useful for LTE's and news sources.

First is newpapers, and please note that on some of these are forums for discussion of issues. I find it quite stimulating.

Here is a list of television stations and thier emails. Commentary on any news item is possible throught these.

This one is for the radio stations.

The time from my last post I spent carefully going thru each website of papers listed in MAP's source database, checking all of the info, and updating it so it would be as correct as I could make it. I pulled the list below, which is from the database, from

Undoubtedly there are other newspapers in Oregon, perhaps not on line, or perhaps never Newshawked from, so not part of the MAP source database yet. If someone has a good list/link that would help reach other papers it would be nice to have it posted to this list.

Note the field that says Feedback: for a number of the papers. While that is a webform for sending in letters, often the page has specific advice about the paper's standards for letters worth reading. Smaller papers often accept a little longer letters - after all it is content they don't have to pay anybody to write.

If you write to the university papers it helps if you provide a note at the end about your relationship to the university, if any. Class you were in or that you graduated there kind of stuff. Students, faculty, and staff vote! Getting something in the university papers counts, too.

Anyway, in the link to the below at the cannabisnews website a different contact for LTES was shown.   CNEWS is a sister website, and FoM gets her contact info from the MAP database.  Not her fault if it is not up to date.   I checked the paper's website and updated the contact info based on it.  If you already sent a LTE you may wish to send it again to the contact address below, just to make sure they get it.

A bit of advice on writing LTEs.  Take a look at  The guy who wrote this has had 1,122 LTEs published, probably a world's record.  He does it at home, about an hour a day, and never, ever has been paid to do it - though some .orgs have been kind enough to let him write using their name, which helps him get published.

Oh, it is not that long, his advice, so here it is:

Tips for Getting Letters to the Editor Published

* In general, letters written in response to editorials are more likely to be published than letters written in response to wire stories (does not apply to major news stories).  Avoid scathing criticism.  Civility will increase the likelihood of your views being published.

* Respond to major news stories while they are still hot.  Nonetheless, investing time in editing pays off.  Always spell-check your letter.

* Local newspapers are far more likely to publish letters than out of state papers (does not apply to major newspapers).

* Adding local relevance helps, especially when replying to an AP wire story (use the MAP search functions).   Repeat information found in the article if necessary.

* Including credible statistics to make a point helps, especially when government statistics are used (see .   Include links to government websites whenever possible.

* Write with a specific target audience in mind, i.e. soccer moms, fiscal conservatives, etc.

* Tailor letters for specific newspapers.  If you're going to write to the Wall Street Journal you can be pedantic, but you'd better dumb it down for certain papers.  You're always better off preempting editors.

* Use an organizational affiliation if possible.  Consider starting a local drug policy organization, if only to get the reform message out.

* Most newspapers require that letters submitted be exclusive.  When recycling letters make slight edits.  Having the exact same letter published in both the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun on the same day would not be good.  Having the exact same letter simultaneously published in Alabama and Idaho should not pose a problem.

* It's important to keep track of when you last sent a particular newspaper a letter.  Likewise, avoid sending the same letter to the same newspaper twice.  Anything that indicates you've got a system in place will hurt your chances of getting published.

* Last but definitely not least, visit the newspaper's website and find out what their policy is for publishing letters.   In general, letters should be under 250 words.  The shorter the letter, the greater the chance of it being published.   Most papers will edit letters down to less than 200 words anyway.  You're better off aiming for roughly 200 words and sticking to one or two key points.  There are many brilliant activists out there who would be published far more often if they just shortened their letters.

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