A colleague at work had an interesting experience last week; the Evening Standard (local London paper) rang her to ask her to submit a letter to the paper on a specific subject (the resignation of newsreader Philip Hayton over personal clashes). She’d sent in a letter about a year before, so they had her details on file. She spent some time writing the letter and sent it on through, where it got published in the next issue. With edits – including additions. Although it had not changed the sentiment of the letter, she did wonder why she had bothered putting time into it if they were going to change things.
Do newspapers normally solicit reader letters? On specific subjects? I’ve never heard this before. But in this case, it’s ensured that my colleague is unlikely to do something similar again, and raise doubts about the rest of the stuff in the paper.