Letters to the Editor and Op-Eds on the CTBT

Better than talking heads and national organizations, YOU can alert your community to the dangers of nuclear weapons and the imperativeness of the CTBT in working towards a world where nuclear weapons are less relied upon and eventually abolished.

Letters to the editor (LTEs) and op-eds in your local newspaper are extremely useful and relatively easy ways of spreading information on these issues, and they alert your Congressperson to their constituents’ concerns.

Courtesy of Project partner Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), we've provided a few suggestions for writing LTEs and op-eds.

Letters To the Editor:

  • Elected officials monitor local newspapers to keep an eye on constituency concerns and opinions. Write to your local newspaper editors, and try to cite your local connection to the community. Mention your Congressperson by name and state the specific legislative action you’d like them to take (ratify the CTBT) to ensure that your letter or op-ed has the maximum amount of impact.
  • Try to keep your LTEs short, about 100-200 words or less, and focus on a single, identifiable issue. Try to relate your letter to a recently published article on nuclear weapons.
  • Be concise: State your main point and why the issue is important to you. Use a few key facts or statistics, and then restate your argument and make a recommendation or call to action for your Congressperson.

Op-eds:

  • Op-eds are similar to LTEs and can be influential in alerting Congresspeople to constituent priorities and spread awareness within a community. Op-eds are longer than LTEs, but many of the same guidelines apply (make local connection, mention policy and Congressperson by name, use key facts.) Be sure to check with your local paper about specific submission rules or word limits.
  • Relate your op-ed to current events, or a notable anniversary or holiday. Plan ahead and write a few weeks before the date and be sure to submit your op-ed early.

Need more specific help or feedback? Email the Project, and we’ll put you in touch with the right people.