Mainstream media interest

Mainstream media have definitely picked up on this as an issue worthy of coverage. We've seen plenty of articles in newspapers, debates on TV and radio, etc.

And I've never had as many phone calls saying that my letter to the editor is being considered for publication.

In the hopes that others will also send letters to the editor, here's my recipe :
- So far, I've always written in response to an article. I don't think this is essential, but I find that it makes it easier for me to write a focussed letter.
- I try to be clear, concise and to the point. Long rambling letters will get edited down, and then you don't get to choose which parts get printed. Bear "how does this affect me personally ?" in mind all the time.
- I write a new letter for each paper. It's not uncommon for them to ask "did you also send this anywhere else", and I think the answer they want is "no". Of course, I often use the same arguments in multiple letters.
- I send it by email or sometimes the "letters to the editor" form on the website of the paper in question.
- I always sign off with my full address, including postcode, and a day-time phone number. Most of the major papers do seem to call to confirm that you did, in fact, write the letter.

Finally, practice makes perfect, and it all helps. Even if you send ten letters and none get printed, you may have helped get somebody else's letter on the same theme into print.