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 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:
Some Letter Tips
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Try to start with some interesting personal ‘hook’ or other reference that will grab reader attention.
- 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 / opinions.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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
The Daily Kos Recommended (occasionally)
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: email@example.com limit 200 words; election letters – limit 150 words; once per month.
- Ashland Daily Tidings: tidingsopinion@rosebudmedia.
com limit 200 words; election letters – limit 150 words; once per month.
Tribune and Tidings combined instructions: All letters must include the writers name, address and a phone number for verification. Only the name and town will be published. Do not send duplicates of letters. Do not send poetry, “open letters” sent to multiple addressees, or letters copied from websites or chain emails – we generally will not publish them. Avoid generalizations, gratuitous insults and personal gripes. All letters are subject to editing.Email is the preferred method for letters; these receive priority.
The Ashland Daily Tidings Letters policy: The editors of the Ashland Daily Tidings restrict letters published in that paper to residents of Ashland and the surrounding area, including Talent. The exception is if the letter addresses 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: firstname.lastname@example.org Limit for letters is 400 words, for opinion columns is 700. To be accepted, letters must contain explicit reference to the Applegate Valley or an issue important to residents thereof.
- Douglas County News & Review: website. Limit of 300 words, once every 30 days.
- Rogue River Press: email@example.com. Letters limit 300 words; Thirty day frequency limit
- Upper Rogue Independent [serving Eagle Point, White City, Prospect, Trail, Butte Falls]: firstname.lastname@example.org 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) email@example.com. Limit unstated – but suggest 200 until / unless we learn it’s different; frequency limit unknown but suspect monthly.
- Klamath Falls News and Herald: firstname.lastname@example.org limit 250 words; frequency limit unknown but suspect monthly.
- Curry Coastal Pilot Harbor – Brookings (twice weekly- Wednesday & Saturday) Submit letters via website or email@example.com Limit 300 words; one every 30 days.
- Curry County Reporter – Gold Beach firstname.lastname@example.org No information
- The Coos Bay World and the Bandon Western World (The Bandon Newspaper) seem to be the same paper, via website limit 400 words.
- Del Norte Triplicate – Crescent City, CA; limit 300 words, email@example.com. Assume once per month.
- Rogue Valley Messenger: info
@roguevalleymessenger.com limit 300 words; published bi-weekly or via website
- Sneak Previews Letters: Ashland – ashland
@sneakpre.com ; Grants Pass – firstname.lastname@example.org; Medford – email@example.com; Talent – firstname.lastname@example.org;
- Eugene Register Guard Letters: email@example.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. Opinion Columns: 500 – 700 words (optimally 600) – firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Oregonian: email@example.com limit 250 words – In My Opinion columns are limited to 500 words firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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 email@example.com Letters 250 word limit, once per 30 days. Requires that submissions are original and uniquely submitted to the Bend Bulletion. This 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 firstname.lastname@example.org No limt identified
- La Grande Observer email@example.com No limt identified
- Burns Times Herald firstname.lastname@example.org 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.