What Is a Letter From the Editor?

Izabela Habur/E+/Getty Images

Letters from the editor vary in subject matter and purpose, but they are generally an open letter written by the editor of a publication. The purpose is usually to address a given topic with the publication’s readership.

The New York Times and many other well-known publications frequently publish letters from editors. Some newspapers and magazines reserve a weekly or monthly spot for the letters. Many times, the editor simply wishes to connect with readers, though the model is highly one-sided. Editors may share news about the inner workings of the publication, comment on a hot topic or express a personal or political opinion. The tone of these letters is often friendly or conversational, and Associated Press guidelines are generally not enforced.