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Find how-to information on writing to local media, contacting your elected officials, or volunteering your time.

Write an effective Letter to the Editor or report an error in the news

If you want to submit a Letter to the Editor of a publication, whether online or print, go to the publication’s home page and search for “sending a Letter to the Editor” for the specific guidelines.

In general:

  • Be prepared to write a very short letter commenting on a recent news article or opinion piece; some publications restrict submissions to as little as 150 words.
  • In keeping with the speed of media, your letter will have to be submitted very shortly after the article on which you’re commenting to stand any chance of publication.
  • Refer clearly to the article’s headline and the date of its publication in your first sentence.
  • You will have to sign it with your first and last name, as well as provide an email and phone number at which you can be contacted for verification.
  • Structure your submission to be short, clearly written, and focused on making only one or two cogent points.
  • These same points will serve you well in writing a post for social media If selected for publication, it’s likely your submission will be edited, if only for brevity, spelling and consistency of grammar and style.
  • Understand that your letter to the editor may only appear online, if the publication has a both printed and e-versions. It also may not appear at all and you will not be notified.
  • Most publications do not acknowledge the receipt of letters or comments.

So… why bother with a Letter to the Editor at all?

  • A well-written, rational, brief letter does stand a good chance of appearing.
  • Most legitimate media outlets do want to appear to be balanced, non-partisan, and objective in their coverage of controversial topics like the Israel-Hamas war and antisemitism.
  • If your letter is in response to a column, consider sending your response directly to that columnist, as well as submitting it as a Letter to the Editor. Be clear with both recipients where and to whom you have submitted your response.
  • The very act of crafting your letter can be useful in organizing your opinions about the difficult topics we are all grappling with right now, and you can share it on your own social media platforms and throughout your network of family, friends and colleagues.

Sometimes “Report an Error” gets more attention and can be more useful to readers.

  • Another option many publications offer is a factual correction method, often titled “Report an error” or “Correcting a mistake.”
  • The online hotlinks to do this are not always obvious but may be at the end of online articles for subscribed readers to use to notify the editors. Otherwise, look at the homepage of the publication or search online using a query like “how do I report an error at The Plain Dealer?”
  • Established publications like The Plain Dealer, for example, have editors dedicated to the principles of factual reporting and all are reachable. At The Plain Dealer, a search of their website allows you to find contact information. Other outlets will have similar resources.
  • If you opt for this, make sure you are indeed reporting a factual error and not just your opinion. Disagreeing with statements, emphasis and sources in an article or a columnist’s stance on an issue does not constitute inaccurate reporting.

Contact Your Elected Officials

Ohio Jewish Communities | Write your Members of Congress today!

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Jewish Federation of Cleveland: Immediate Volunteer Needs: Supporting Israel

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