Write a Letter to the Editor

Studies show that people read the letters to the editor section more than they read the editorials by journalists. Moreover, letters to the editor are widely read by community leaders and lawmakers to gauge public sentiment about current issues in the news. That's why it is critical that cancer-related articles, editorials and letters to the editor be published in newspapers, magazines, newsletters and e-zines or other electronic publications on a regular basis.

Be Clear, Brief and Concise
Check the paper's guidelines for writing letters, which should be clearly stated on the editorial page of your newspaper. Be sure to include your name, address and telephone number on your letter, as anonymous letters will not be accepted. Address your letter "Dear Editor." Letters should never exceed one page—preferably less than 125 words—nor should they cover more than one topic. State the purpose in the first paragraph.

Focus on Current Issues
Write your letters on debates, issues or legislation happening right now. Respond only to recently printed stories or editorials. Write in support or against pending legislation at the local, state or federal level. By discussing current issues, your letters stand a better chance of getting printed.

Don't Be Discouraged if Your Letter Is Not Published
Most publications receive more letters than they can print and will often print one letter as a representative of others. So keep trying! Unpublished letters are still read by the editors and can help sway them to cover topics more thoroughly.