When Is The Best Time To Write

a letter to the editor?

“It’s pretty easy to write a letter with your own opinion,” said Mary Lou Larkin, who was president of the Southern Arizona Press Club for six years. “But how do you know what other people think if they don’t say it?”

Larkin is now executive director and publisher of The Pima County Sun newspaper in Tucson. A few days ago she answered that question by asking readers: “When is the best time to write a letter-to-the-editor about something that concerns you?” She gave them three choices: The day it ran in print, when someone else did so at least 30 days after publication or until 60 days have passed since then; within 90 days of its publication date; or any time thereafter. More than 100 letters were submitted, many from members of her club who had been writing letters for decades. All came back too late except one man who wrote on March 6 at 6 p.m., thinking he might get his point across before anyone else could get around to responding—much less wondering why no one had responded yet! He also wanted an explanation as to why there hadn’t been more letters printed earlier but didn’t want to wait long enough for others’ responses. Finally he asked whether this was considered normal behavior in these matters and whether people ever got angry over this delay between their views being expressed and other opinions being expressed? He signed off with two words: “Thank You.” That’s not only