News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Editor's Note

January 10, 2009

Editor's Note: Letters continue to be popular with readers

TERRE HAUTE — Survey after survey of newspaper readers tell us that letters to the editor are among the most read and most enjoyed content we offer. While obituaries routinely top the list of most-read items, letters are always near the top.

Even without research of that kind, it would be obvious to those of us who work to produce newspapers in print and online that reader submissions offering opinions on issues of the day, comments about hot community topics, or telling personal stories about everyday life, are universally valued by our large and diverse audience.

How would we know that? Personal feedback from readers fuels the notion, of course. But the real testament to the popularity of reader commentary is the constant volume of letters coming in. Whenever it seems the number of submitted letters can’t possibly go higher, it does.

We’ve had strong years before, but 2008 ranks among the best, at least since we’ve been tracking such things. As editorial page editor back in the early ’90s, I started logging submitted letters. (That’s when all letters sent were either typed, faxed or hand-written rather than e-mailed — today’s vastly preferred submission method). The number of letters I logged 10 to 15 years ago hovered between 1,200 and 1,400. Most of those, which consisted of letters that met our basic standards and requirements, saw print.

But 2008 was a banner year, with 1,746 letters logged (1,300 e-mailed, plus 446 submitted in other ways). Election years, especially when presidents are on the ballot, tend to generate more letters. But I’ve also found that years with Terre Haute mayoral elections boost the letters volume. Such was the case in 2007, when more than 1,650 letters were logged.

I don’t have an accurate count on the number of letters actually published in our print edition last year. It would have to number well over 1,400. And all of our letters contain the author’s real name. Anonymous letters, or pen names, are not allowed. Readers appreciate that.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Editor's Note
Latest News Poll
AP Video
Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced. Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con
NDN Video
Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -


    March 12, 2010