Readers Write: Chalk one up for letter to the editor contributors

The Island Now


Keep Those Letters Coming…

Congratulations to my fellow class of 2021 Letter to the Editor writers. Surveys reveal that Letters To the Editor is one of the most widely read and popular sections of any newspaper. Weekly newspapers such as our own Great Neck News and other Blank Slate Media publications all offer readers a chance to speak out. The same is true with daily newspapers such as the New York Daily News, Post, Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Newsday and Staten Island Advance. There are also numerous foreign language daily and other weekly newspapers.

Weekly newspapers tend to offer more space for writers than daily newspapers. Some daily newspapers have quotas of no more than one letter every 30 or 60 days per writer. Most daily and weekly newspapers will print letters submitted by any writer regardless of where they live so long as the topic is relevant to readers.

It helps to have a snappy introduction, good hook, be timely, precise, have an interesting or different viewpoint to increase your odds of being published. Many papers welcome letters commenting on their own editorials, articles or previously published letters to the editor.

We continue to be fortunate to live in one of the few remaining free societies, with a wealth of information sources available. Sadly, most American cities and suburbs are down to one local daily or weekly newspaper. Newspapers have to deal with increasing costs for newsprint, delivery and distribution along with reduced advertising revenues and declining readership.

Many of us have opinions on news not only from Washington, Albany and City Hall but also neighborhoods and local issues which impact our communities and daily lives.

I continue to be grateful that the Great Neck News along with other daily and weekly newspapers afford both me and my fellow letter to the editor writers the opportunity to express our views, as well as differing opinions on issues of the day. Thanks to you, ordinary citizens have the freedom to comment on the actions and legislation of elected officials in any Letters to the Editor section.

Public officials use taxpayers dollars to promote their views via mass mailings of newsletters, news releases, letters to the editor and guest opinion page columns. In many cases, they are produced or written by campaign or office staffers who are paid for by taxpayers. The rest of us have limited time to submit a letter. In the marketplace of ideas, let us hope there continues to be room for everyone, including the Great Neck News.

Let us thank those few brave souls who are willing to take on the establishment and powerful special interest groups in the pages of your Letters to the Editor section. They fill a valuable niche in the information highway.

Please join me along with your neighbors in reading daily and local weekly community newspapers. Patronize their advertisers; they provide the revenues necessary to keep them in business. Let them know you saw their ad. This is what helps keep our neighbors employed, the local economy growing and provide space on a daily or weekly basis for your favorite or not so favorite letter writers.

Larry Penner

Longtime reader and frequent letter writer for decades

Great Neck

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The Island Now

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