Have you seen an article or letter in a newspaper or magazine that has upset you? Or maybe you have seen one that portrays the LGB community in a positive way?
If so, it is important that you voice your opinions.
A good 'Letter to the Editor' is an excellent way to redress harmful stories, generate a lively debate and promote positive opinions about the LGB community.
This is the Look Out guide to writing a great letter, giving tips and hints on how to increase the chances of getting your letter published.
1. Keep it short
Under 150 words is ideal. Any thing longer will only be cut in length, and that could include your main point!
2. Identify clearly the story you are commenting on
Give the date, headline, publication and page number
3. Select a few key points you wish to raise
Avoid tackling every issue that upset or pleased you. One major point per letter will be more effective. Got more than one point - then get a friend to write in with the other.
4. Be clear about why you are writing
List what has offended you. Was it the language used? Did the tone offend you? Were the facts inaccurate? Was it a balanced article?
Be specific and get straight to the point.
5. Avoid using abusive or offensive language
A reasonable approach is far more likely to be taken seriously.
6. Be sure of your facts
Are you absolutely sure your points are facts and not opinion? Can they be backed up?
7. Be clear about how you would like this matter to be handled
Do you want another article written that covers the points you raised?
Do you want the editor to reconsider the articles/letters they print.
Do you want an apology/correction printed? If so, confirm the wording of the apology/correction and when it will appear.
8. Always include your name and address
You can ask for your details not to be published if you feel you may be put at risk.
If your letter is not for publication write NOT FOR PUBLICATION on the top.
9. And once you have sent your letter, also send it to Look Out.
We really want to hear your opinions. We want to build up a picture of all the media coverage that has either pleased or upset you. Then we can start to do something about it. Click here for details of how to contact LookOut.