A letter to the editor and an Op-Ed may seem similar to a lay man. Both provide a person an opportunity to express his/her opinion and present a critical bias unlike an editorial that has to be somewhat neutral. An experienced media specialist would however identify the two as different.
An op-ed, which is conflicting to an editorial, provides the writer a little more freedom as compared to a letter to the editor. A number of well-known individuals who are not on board a newspaper’s editorial team write op-eds. Moreover there are a number of newspapers that encourage their readers to submit Op-Eds.
Purpose of Op-Eds:
Op-eds are a good option for putting ones opinion across relating to a recent news event.
It is the most effective way to present an individual or a company as an industry expert and a leader.
Guidelines on Op-Eds:
Op-eds needs to be precise and to the point. Limited space must be utilized to focus on one main point.
The opinion or the bias towards a particular aspect must be clearly stated in the start as readers want to know your point of view in the beginning
The opinions presented must be supported by personal experiences, facts and statistics to give it more strength.
Letter to the editor
In general the length of a letter to editor is shorter than an Op-Ed. Moreover it is usually written in a newspaper in response to an article published by the same newspaper in the past unlike an Op-Ed which is in response to any news topic. The writer of letter to editor is a reader of the newspaper or a concerned citizen.
Purpose of Letter to the Editor:
Letters to editor are generally written when the readers have either a conflicting view to a published article or approve of the information provided in an article and want to add further details to it.
Guidelines on letter to the Editor:
A letter to editor needs to be brief and to the point. The main focus should be on the material provided in the article, as the letter to editor is in response to that.
The letter to editor must be written and published within a specific time period in response to the article. The newspaper will not publish the letter to editor if there is a long gap post article as then the topic will not be relevant anymore.
There needs to be a clear reference to the article in response to which the letter to the editor is being written.