Letters to the Editor

The “Letters to the Editor” section of any newspaper is a great way to notify that your chapter exists and what its opinions and philosophical positions are.

When writing a letter to the editor, make sure it is relevant to something the paper recently dealt with or is a relevant topic with which either students or the local community is dealing.

Letters should be short and simple. Make a strong statement and then briefly support it with facts.

An easy way to ensure that your article gets into your school newspaper is to attack an article that was written in the last issue. For instance, say a writer in last week’s newspaper wrote an article saying that all students want socialized health care because students cannot afford it on their own.

Attack this blatant statement in a letter to the editor using language like, “I am completely insulted by last week’s article entitled Students Can’t Afford Health Care written by Ted Smith. His arrogant statements could not have been further from the truth.”

Newspapers like the conflict because they believe it will increase the amount of students that read the newspaper. And it does. In fact, your YAL chapter’s own publication could constantly combat articles in your school’s newspaper, and you could expect quite a bit of attention from it.

At some point you may even have a “Letter to the Editor” battle, if you address a journalist’s topic on the spot and really get down to a pressing issue in which there are multiple points of view.

Getting Inside the Beast

A great way to get more attention for your chapter is to get one of your members inside the school newspaper. The school newspaper will hold “budget” meetings which go over the articles they want to address for next week’s issue.

It is easy to get into these meetings, because usually there are not enough people to write all the articles that the school newspaper would like to have written. Get a YAL member who likes journalism to write some articles for the school newspaper, and see how their group functions. That way you will know how to address your Letters to the Editor, or even get the school newspaper to accept independent article submissions outside of a budget meeting.

Even better, you can start forming a relationship with your school newspaper so that when you send them a press release they are more likely to accept your information and write stories about your YAL chapter.