Guidelines for writing a letter to the editor


Because The News Messenger and the Radford News Journal try to capture a sense of what’s on readers’ minds, we welcome your letters to the editor.

We appreciate your willingness to share your perspective and all letters will be considered for publication. The letters page should be a forum for a variety of voices. Here are guidelines to help get your letter published.

1. Please limit your letter to about 300 words. Make your case in a point or two.

2. Write concisely and engagingly, presenting a position that provides a unique perspective.

We recognize that fact and heartfelt opinion commingle, but others are interested in why you think as you do, rather than why you think those who disagree with you are wrong.

3. Rethink your use of exclamation points.

4. As has been said by others, letter writers are entitled to their own opinions, but not to their own facts. We try to verify data and information stated as fact. But we’re a small paper with limited resources, preferring instead to contact and give the letter writer the opportunity to cite a source, rewrite a statement or withdraw the letter.

5. Address your letter to the editor with “Dear Editor.”

6. Express yourself civilly. If you are responding to a previous letter, keep an open mind toward finding value in what others have written.

7. End your letter with your name and contact information. A limit of four signatures per letter, please.

Email to We welcome all voices. It’s not the editor’s opinion that determines the leaning of the Letters to the Editor page, it’s yours.