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Lutheran Office for Governmental Affairs

122 C Street N.W., Suite 125
Washington, D.C. 20001
Tel: 202-783-7507

Contacting the Media

Letters to the Editor

Other than the front page, the letters to the editor section is the most read part of your local newspaper. Members of Congress pay close attention to letters, particularly if their names are mentioned. When you write your letter to the editor, keep in mind the following suggestions:

  1. Keep your letter short. 250 words is the recommended length for most publications. Periodicals have a limited space and often receive more letters than they can possibly publish. If there is less editing for the editor it is more likely your letter will appear.
  2. Get to the point. Letters should always state the specific issue, and what action should be taken. Include the name and/or number of the bill you are commenting on. Mention the name of your Senator/Representative and what action you would like them to take.
  3. Write in simple language. Many newspapers have the motto "the readers of this newspaper move their lips as they read". They are looking for letters that are understandable by a variety of educational levels and writing an intelligible letter need not be complicated. Do not be afraid to address sophisticated subjects, just remember a "ball is a ball as well as a sphere."
  4. Be sure to be credible. If you use a statistic, cite your resource. Check the number of your bill through the representatives office or call the Senate and House Bill Status number (202) 225-1772 to see if the number has changed.
  5. Be Timely. Periodicals that are published on a daily basis such as newspapers treat news as new for only a short time. Editorials will be printed if they are current and reflect what will be happening in the near future.
  6. Sign your letter. Newspapers will not publish your letter without a signature, although you may request that your name be kept anonymous. In considering this option remember that letters that are anonymous are often not considered credible. Include in your signature your residence and/ or voting district as well.
  7. Send a copy of your letter to the Lutheran Office for Governmental Affairs (LOGA) office. We will use your letter as a resource to encourage others to write. We will also be able to note in our discussions which government officials support the position of the ELCA.
  8. Send a copy of your letter to your Congressional Representative and Senators. They will appreciate knowing you have contacted your local media. Persons in Congress follow closely what is in their local media and will appreciate staying informed.


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