These letter-writing tips are courtesy of the highly successful Yes2Renewables campaign in Victoria.
The letters to the editor pages are a barometer for the public’s view on a topic. Newspaper editors use it to understand the views of their readership and this feedback may influence the way the publication reports an issue.
Politicians may pay close attention to the letters to the editor pages, especially if they are named. For a politician, each letter represents a view shared by hundreds of constituents.
Tips to get published
- Brevity is power. Keep your letter to three to five sentences.
- Keep you letter focused on making one key point.
- Name drop. Get on the radar of politicians by naming them.
- Send in your letter by 12pm (the earlier the better).
A good letter to the editor will identify a villain, victims, a heroine, and an on-the-fence character that needs to be influenced.
“The fossil fuel lobby’s (villain) blaming renewable energy as the cause of the recent power spike is untrue and exaggerated. The claims of coal and gas companies reveal they’re prepared to sacrifice jobs, investment in regional communities, and our climate (victims) for their own vested interest.
South Australians (heroine) aren’t buying the anti-renewables spin and want more renewable energy, not less. Jobs, regional investment, and action on the climate emergency is something all politicians can support. This is why Premier Weatherill and opposition leader Steven Marshall (on-the-fence) should stand up to the fossil fuel bullies and commit to 100 percent renewable energy.”
Note: Newspapers expect that any letters to the editor that you send to them are sent exclusively to them. A good way to increase the chance of your letter being published is to relate it to an article or letter from someone else published in their paper that morning.
Newspapers generally require that you include your full name, address and phone numbers below the letter.
Addresses for sending letters to the editor
The Age: Use the form on www.theage.com.au
Sydney Morning Herald: Email to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Advertiser: Use the form on www.adelaidenow.com.au
The Daily Advertiser: Use the form on www.dailyadvertiser.com.au
Queensland Times: Use the form on www.qt.com.au
The Examiner: Use the form on www.examiner.com.au
The Mercury: Use the form on www.themercury.com.au
NT News: Use the form on www.ntnews.com.au
The West Australian: Email to email@example.com
Alice Springs News: Email to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Australian: Email to email@example.com
Australian Financial Review: Email to firstname.lastname@example.org – max 250 words.
Apart from your name and email address you must include the following details in your email: Phone Number (both day and night time) and address.
Bendigo Advertiser: Use the form on www.bendigoadvertiser.com.au
The Border Mail: Use the form on www.bordermail.com.au
Gladstone Observer: Use the form on www.gladstoneobserver.com.au
The Queanbeyan Age: Use the form on www.queanbeyanagechronicle.com.au
Townsville Bulletin: Use the form on www.townsvillebulletin.com.au
Geelong Advertiser: Email to email@example.com
Surf Coast Times: Email to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Indy (in Geelong): Email to email@example.com
If you have other addresses, please let us know!
Emergency climate transition is the only hope
The Climate Change Authority was set up as an independent authority designed to remove some of the political point-scoring from the vital project of addressing the climate crisis. Sadly both their recent report and the dissenting report fail in their duty of care to our nation.
In February 2016 global temperatures spiked to 1.6°C of warming, exceeding the red line drawn in the Paris accord. Dangerous tipping points are close or already crossed. Terrible impacts are being felt by vulnerable people and ecosystems around the world. It is abundantly clear that our Earth is already too hot. Our remaining carbon budget is zero.
Few people realise that all the 1.5°C scenarios assume massive drawdown and sequestration of greenhouse gases using technologies which are not yet available at scale. It is way too late to be arguing about market mechanisms versus baseline and credit. All sides of politics must stand together to declare a climate emergency and agree to use every tool in the toolkit to bring about a society-wide transition as fast as humanly possible. Nothing but an emergency transition to zero emissions can save human civilisation now.