Media Corps

Local Newspaper LTE and Op-ed Guidelines

LTEs are Letters to the Editor (General rule one per month);
Op-Eds are Guest Opinion columns (Frequency dependent on editor judgment).

The Writing Corps helps individual interested in writing Letters to the Editor or Guest Columns to the local print media. We help individuals by providing information source and data upon request if we are aware of such, and reviewing drafts to offer suggestions on focus, content accuracy, organization, and clarity.  Those wishing to submit Guest Columns to theMedford Mail Tribune or Ashland Daily Tidings are advised to contact Editorial page editor, Gary Nelson,  first to establish that there is interest in the column:

Some Letter Tips

  1. Do not exceed the word limit by even one word.  Reviewing editors can and do count!  While long submissions might be returned for editing, the possibility also is that such submissions will get lost.
  2. While writing is a little different from speaking, the difference is not that vast.  If you can talk to someone about your point, you can probably write a letter to the editor. If you are not sure how to start or compose a letter to the editor, try simply talking to a friend about the subject and trying to make your point to that person. Make a note of how you did it, and convert that into the written letter.  Sometimes this simply involves checking the grammar and sequence for logic.
  3. Try to confine the content to one or maximally two related ideas.  Letters that ramble over several unconnected topics will probably not maintain reader attention or elicit comprehension.
  4. Try to start with some interesting personal ‘hook’ or other reference that will grab reader attention.
  5. Don’t feel you have to write a complete thesis totally substantiating your point  to justify your conclusion (you won’t be able to do it in 200 words, anyway), focus on one or two arguments.
  6. Identifying personal stories is always helpful – evidence and data based arguments are valuable but not always the most persuasive; personal accounts and testimonials are more compelling for some readers.
  7. Responses to other articles in a paper are valuable, but should be sent just to the source publishing the original article or letter.  However, if the argument can be generalized for other targets, such an effort is worthwhile because readers of other papers might share the opinion that you are countering.
  8. Letters countering a previous letter that is vitriolic or nonsense will probably not convert that author.  However such letters, if calmly and logically written, can persuade others reading the original and your response that you make a better case.

Workshops

Upon request, we are happy to schedule workshops on writing and submitting letters and opinion columns.  It is important to appreciate that letters and opinion columns must be the original work of the author submitting them. However, upon request, we can provide  information and data and can assist by reviewing and offering suggestions on drafts.

Sources of information on climate change

Southern Oregon Climate Action Now

Skeptical Science

Ecowatch Daily Brief

Huffington Post

Huffington Post  Green

The Daily Kos Recommended (occasionally)

Sightline

Climate Clips

Letters – Print Media Addresses

Always include your name, address, and telephone number so the editors can contact you if they wish to confirm you as the source.  These will not appear in print.

  • Medford Mail Tribune:  letters@mailtribune.com  or via website – limit 200 words;  political letters – limit 150 words; once per month.
  • Ashland Daily Tidings: tidingsopinion@dailytidings.com or via website –limit 250 words; political letters – limit 200 words; once per month.
    ALERT: New Ashland Daily Tidings Letters policy: The editors of theAshland Daily Tidings have decided to limit letters in that paper to residents of Ashland and the surrounding area, including Talent, unless the letter is addressing a specifically Ashland topic, such as the redesign of the Plaza. Your letters, of course, are welcome in the Tribune, which circulates throughout the county. But the editors have judged that the climate change issue is more than adequately represented in letters from Ashland residents. This editorial policy goal is to encourage a robust debate in the Ashland community among readers of the Tidings.
  • The Applegater: gater@applegater.org  Limit for letters is 400 words, for opinion columns is 700.
  • Rogue River Press: editor@rogueriverpress.com.  Letters limit 300 words; Thirty day frequency limit
  • Upper Rogue Independent [serving Eagle Point, White City, Prospect, Trail, Butte Falls]: editor@urindependent.com  Limit unknown, suggest assuming 200.
  • Grants Pass Daily Currier: letters@thedailycourier.com  limit 250 words; once per month.  This paper seems to have a policy of publishing letters only from residents in their perceived circulation area.
  • Illinois Valley News (Cave Junction – weekly) dan@illinois-valley-news.com. Limit unstated – but suggest 200 until / unless we learn it’s different; frequency limit unknown but suspect monthly.
  • Klamath Falls News and Herald: news@heraldandnews.com  limit 250 words; frequency limit unknown but suspect monthly.
  • Curry Coastal Pilot (twice weekly- Wednesday & Saturday) Submit letters via website; Limit 250 words; limit one every 30 days.
  • The Coos Bay World and the Bandon Western World (The Bandon Newspaper) seem to be the same paper, via website; limit 400 words.
  • Rogue Valley Messenger: info@roguevalleymessenger.com limit 250 words; published bi-weekly or via  website
  • Rogue Valley Community Press: editor@rvcommunitypress.com limit 400 words – above which it becomes a guest column; published quarterly.
  • Sneak Previews Letters:  Ashland – ashland@sneakpre.com ; Grants Pass – grantspass@sneakpre.com;  Medford – medford@sneakpre.com;  Talent – talent@sneakpre.com;
  • Eugene Register Guard Letters and opinion columns: Jackman Wilson jack.wilson@registerguard.com Letter length limit is 250 words; all letters are subject to condensation. Writers are limited to one letter per calendar month. Because of the volume of mail, not all letters can be printed. Letters must be signed with the writers full name. An address and daytime telephone number are needed for verification purposes; this information will not be published or released.  Guest viewpoints are between 600 and 800 words in length, with 700 being ideal.
  • The Oregonian: letters@oregonian.com limit 250 words – In My Opinion columns are limited to 500 words commentary@oregonian.com
  • The Salem Statesman Journal webpage submission or letters@StatesmanJournal.com Letters 200 words or fewer.
  • Roseburg News Review webpage submission Letters 250 word limit
  • Bend Bulletin letters@bendbulletin.com Letters 250 word limit, once per 30 days. Requires submisions to be original and only submitted to the Bend Bulletion.  Ths may take a little reworking of the text to make it unique.
  • Corvallis Gazette Times webpage submission Letters 250 word limit.
  • Albany Democrat Herald webpage submissions Letters 250 word limit.
  • East Oregonian webpage submission Fewer than 400 words
  • Baker City Herald news@bakercityherald.com No limt identified
  • La Grande Observer news@lagrandeobserver.com No limt identified
  • Burns Times Herald editor@btimesherald.com No limt identified

The word limit does not include greeting or name.

Since the Tribune has the lowest LTE word limit, it would simplifying life to target that length and send to the others. But the adventurous author can always augment from the Tribune length to embellish points for the other targets having longer limits.

Local Op-Ed / Guest Opinion Column Guidelines:

In terms of Op-ed policy The Tribune is more restrictive – local authors should focus on local issues; The Ashland Daily Tidings accepts Op-eds from local folks on broader issues. Same addresses for the targets works for both LTEs and Op-eds.  The Guest Column / Op Ed limit is 750 words for both the Tidings and Tribune. Those wishing to submit Guest Columns to the Medford Mail Tribune or Ashland Daily Tidings are advised to contact Editorial page editor, Gary Nelson,  first to establish that there is interest in the column:

If you are interested in guidance with writing or wish more information contact Alan Journet.