I needed some good guidelines for writing my letter to the editor of The New York Times. I have never written a letter to the editor of any publication. So I decided to seek tips from, er, The New York Times. Here is their own take on what they look for.
In short, be succinct and engaging. Make your case in 150 words. Use facts.
I read a bunch of letters that have been published. Interestingly, unless I’m missing something, I didn’t see any letters published about THAT ARTICLE.
OK. So here’s my take:
To the Editor:
After reading the latest New York Times article about infertility (The Two-Minus-One Pregnancy, August 10, 2011), I am puzzled why your coverage seems to focus on the fringes and boundaries of this subject.
One in eight couples in the U.S. suffer from infertility. Infertility affects people of all reproduction ages and incomes.
If you read the published articles about infertility in The New York Times, you would think that only the very wealthy suffer from the disease. Patients you have profiled include: a 46 year old woman using donor eggs, a woman with multiple homes who pursues many treatments and finally settles on surrogacy, a woman has “twiblings” after using two different surrogates and donor eggs.
These are by no means the TYPICAL infertility patients who walk through the doors of hundreds of offices of reproductive endocrinologists each year. In reality, fewer than 3% of infertility patients need advanced reproductive technologies like in vitro fertilization (IVF).
I would invite you to look at the bigger picture. Speak with people struggling with infertility of ALL ages and income.
Main Street, USA
Obviously I had to trim the focus and detail in order to make the letter fit the 150 word parameter (and I can’t get it under 180 words).
What do YOU think? Please let me know in the comments.