What to write | Who to contact | Previous Red White and Food letters
What to write
A good letter to the editor makes a brief but compelling argument. Most newspapers prefer letters from 250 to 350 words.
We recommend that you write about the number one reason you support wine in retail food stores. For most people, it's convenience. Some believe strongly in free markets or less government interference in commerce. Others don't like the monopoly of liquor stores and liquor wholesalers. You will have your point of view.
Make sure to include your name, address and phone number. Newspapers will not publish anonymous letters to the editor.
The following are editors who manage letters to the editor at large daily Tennessee newspapers.
Editorial Page Editor: Ted Rayburn
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Fax: (615) 259-8093
Special instructions: Preference will be given to letters of less than 250 words. To be considered for publication, letters must include the writer's name, street address and daytime telephone number. Only the name, hometown and ZIP code will be published. Letter writers who would like their email addresses published should include that address with the letter.
The City Paper
Editor: Stephen Cavendish
The Daily News Journal
Editorial/Opinion Editor: Sam Stockard
The Commercial Appeal
Editorial/Opinion Editor: Otis L. Sanford
Special instructions: All letters must include the writer’s name, full home address, and daytime and evening phone numbers for verification.
The Chattanooga Times Free Press
Times Editorial Editor: Harry Austin, Free Press Editorial Editor: Lee Anderson
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Special instructions: Letters should be less than 200 words and must include the writer’s name, address and phone number.
The Knoxville News Sentinel
Editorial Page Editor: Scott Barker
Email: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Special instructions: Letters should be no more than 300 words. They should be signed and include a street address and phone number.
The Leaf-Chronicle (Clarksville)
Editorial/Opinion Editor: Alane Megna
Email: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Special instructions: “Letters to the Editor” must include full street address, daytime phone number and full name. Authorship will be verified before publication. Up to 300 words, one letter every 15 days, no personal attacks or poetry. All letters are subject to editing.
Examples of Red White and Food letters
Wine sales: It's the convenience
From the Commercial Appeal
Allowing wine sales in grocery stores is indeed no small matter; it is of much interest to a large number of consumers in the market. What is cavalier is the implication in the Feb. 12 letter to the editor "Wine sales: It's not the convenience" that the well-being of small businesses negatively affected by a change in law is more important than the number of consumers who would be positively affected. For that matter, wine sales across the state would likely increase due to greater exposure of wine to the general public.
These small businesses band together to hire big-money lobbyists to influence the bill their way, while the general public is largely unrepresented.
This lobbying influence is the main reason that changes in these laws have been so difficult to pass. It would be very interesting to see how the general public (who are not being influenced by lobbyists) would vote on this issue.
As to the implied unfairness to small business, there is nothing unfair about competition. This is a capitalist society. If your business depends on the law to protect you from competition, perhaps your business has been built on a house of cards. While there are valid arguments as to why wine should not be sold in grocery and other qualifying stores from the proposed bill (such as the increase in exposure to minors), protecting the welfare of your business is not one of them.
While there may be negative impacts to small wine and liquor merchants, the number of people affected personally pales in comparison to the number of people who would benefit.
From the Nashville City Paper
To the Editor:
I find it odd that a state that benefits economically and culturally from the growing popularity of wine is so behind the times with its liquor laws. You can find a wine tasting almost any night of the week, but not a drop of wine in the grocery stores.
It’s time to change the law.
The argument that selling wine in the supermarket will increase teenaged drinking is specious and stupid. Markets ‘card’ everyone now, even me, and I remember Eisenhower.
Besides, I would think teens are more interested in Bud Light than dry Pinot.
Buying wine in grocery should be an option
From The Tennessean
To the Editor:
As I watch and read with interest the continuing drama regarding wine in grocery stores debate, I scratch my head in disbelief.
It is simply a matter of convenience. How many of us have traveled out of state and visited a grocery store and have been delighted to pick up a bottle of wine to go along with our dinner, while thinking, why can’t we do this in Tennessee?
It is a matter of convenience. The consumers of this state that use their own hard-earned money deserve a choice. Most wine/liquor stores where I shop are located on some of the most inconvenient corners of streets, making it difficult to get in and out with any expediency.
Often I’ve just said “forget it, I’ll do without.” The wine/liquor stores in Green Hills and West End areas are very difficult, if not impossible for a quick stop on your way home.
There have been so many excuses from Capitol Hill folks about why this is a bad idea and not good for the consumer.