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
Police: Prostitute Linked to 2nd Death Chimp-attack Victim Lobbies Congress Obama Responds to Hecklers on Immigration More Immigrants Detained Along Rio Grande FIFA Rejects Suarez Appeal Against Biting Ban LeBron James Says He's Returning to Cavaliers Texas Shooting Suspect Collapses in Court Raw: Israel, Gaza Exchange Rocket Fire Art of Haitian Machete Fighting Revived Soft Robot Fish Lead New Wave of Robotics Thousands Attend NYC Firefighter's Funeral World Cup Final Pits Argentina Against Germany Israeli-Palestinian Tensions, Attacks Escalate Raw: Rebel Leader Weds in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Australia Hosts Annual Beer Can Regatta Downside of Low Mortgage Rates? Less Selling Man Flees Police in World Cup Scalping Scheme Robot Writes Jewish Torah Scroll Death Toll Tops 100 As Israel Offense Continues Neighbors Mourn Killing of Texas Family
NDN Video
Cleveland welcomes home LeBron Houston Killer Collapses in Court When Read Capital Murder Charges for Allegedly Killing Family of Six Worst Valet Ever Wrecks $500K Lamborghini Glee Star Becca Tobin's Boyfriend Matt Bendik Found Dead in Hotel Aerial fish restocking in Utah ScarJo Channels Marilyn Monroe Obama Responds to Hecklers on Immigration Tiny Hamsters Who Ate Burritos are Back for a Tiny Hedgehog's Party Watch Kelly Ripa Get Soaked! 'Referee' Hands Out Yellow Cards for Social Faux Pas in NYC 2014 Emmy Nominees: 8 Snub Shockers Emma Watson Is Va-Va-Voom in Valentino 7 Infamous Sports Blowouts Argentina tops Holland in World Cup semifinals News flush: Japanese toilet exhibition making a splash Emmy Nominations: What to Watch For 'Game of Thrones' Leads 66th Emmy Awards Nominations Photographic 'Proof' That LeBron Is Leaving Miami - @TheBuzzeronFOX Elephant Pool Party at The Oregon Zoo Must-See! Berry and Fallon Form Human Hamster Wheel

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