Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor (LTE), a long-standing tradition in American journalism, are letters sent to publications by readers to express opinions about a wide range of issues. While LTEs traditionally have been sent to newspapers, they are now also submitted to electronic broadcast media, including local and national television and radio news programs. In these latter cases, the letters are sometimes read on the air. LTEs are deemed important because they (a) provide a public forum for deliberation and debate on critical issues in a democracy, (b) can influence public policy via their use by both citizens and politicians, and (c) underscore the role of journalism in society and its responsibility to offer a space for public debate. Academic research on this topic has examined ...

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