Letters to the Editor

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Fame as an author is coming more slowly than I expected, so yesterday I decided to take a short-cut: I wrote a letter to the Adelaide Advertiser.  And it was published this morning!

It wasn’t anything momentous. I was just expressing agreement with an article by Tory Shepherd in the same paper, reinforcing the point that race, culture and religion are distinct things.  I suggested that the three are often mischievously conflated so as to pin the label ‘Racist’ on people who object to some religious beliefs or cultural practices.

But that’s not what this post is about. It’s about the reasons why people write to newspapers – why I write to newspapers.  I’m honestly not sure whether I do it because a) I sincerely believe that my small voice, added to a swell of others, may lead to some incalculable but significant improvement in the condition of humanity; or b) I’m an egotistical attention-seeker frustrated by my own impotence.

Do you write to newspapers? If so, why?

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One thought on “Letters to the Editor

  1. Depends on whether you are intending that it be published.

    I write to The Economist to record my dismay at a drop in the standard of editing, or to explain how the order of clauses in a sentence affects clarity, indeed accuracy. I have no wish to see my letter in print.

    On the other hand, if I write in the hope of publication, I guess I do it partly for the recognition of being published and partly to assist others’ thinking/understanding.

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