Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Celebrating our Letter to the Editor authors

Dear Letter to the Editor authors:

The Bradenton Herald's editorial board wants to highlight the best of the best letter writers this year. So we've launched a  Letter of the Month contest -- with you, the readers, as our final judges.

Part of a newspaper's legacy is its ability and responsibility to engage the community in conversation. A favorite vehicle for that conversation is through Letters to the Editor. The Herald has a rich history of letters from our readers, publishing thousands in our 92-year history. Politics is probably the most popular (maybe that's un-popular) topic. But our passionate letter writers will commend, condemn, rant or rave about almost anything they've read in the Herald -- or, sometimes, what they didn't read and think they should have.
So how do we narrow down the field to the "best"? First, Herald editors will highlight one letter each week. The writer's opinion will not be a consideration for that choice -- everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and that's what makes the letters so rich and diverse. Instead, letters will be judged on strength of argument, writing style and clarity. Those that address current issues and events will get bonus points. Humor will not be disqualified. And if your letter gets the most traffic in the week after it's posted on Bradenton.com, we'll add another bonus point.
At the end of the month, readers can vote online for their choice among those weekly nominations. Bookmark this link for voting: www.bradenton.com/letter-of-the-month 
The online voting will begin on the first Sunday of each month and continue until noon Friday.  We'll announce the readers' choice on the second Sunday on the Opinion page, and here online.

Read more here: http://www.bradenton.com/2014/01/10/4929038/welcome-to-the-letters-of-the.html#storylink=cpy

And get ready for a party, letter writers! We plan to get our dozen winners together in January 2015 to celebrate something typically discouraged in newsrooms: opinionated writing!