The Birth of an Op-ed

September 18, 2012
by Frank Gilbert, Regional Coordinator

A story from springtime, in the form of a letter I wrote to Ken Patterson, Global Grassroots Manager:

After pitching the idea of an editorial on child survival, and getting no responses from the editor, I took the helpful template e-mail you shared and personalized it to reflect our group and the Louisville Courier-Journal’s past help in creating political will on this and other issues. I sent it to a second editor, one who also writes a weekly column. She responded immediately. She said she loved the idea but had no editorial space for it. She asked if I had an op-ed or a letter on the subject. I wasn’t expecting that. My plan was to inspire her to do the heavy lifting.

I quickly pulled up the RESULTS editorial packet as well as from the two op-eds you’d shared. I used that material, personalized it, and sent it to her around 4:30 pm that same afternoon. I won’t say it was easy or that I was really satisfied with what I’d written, but now I could say that, yes, I had op-ed on the subject to offer her. Over the weekend, after I had time to collect my thoughts, I wrote another version . . . but the editor preferred the first!

Having the resources so readily available was crucial. It took some of the “over” from the “whelm.” That’s what support looks like, and that is the strength of our organization and your leadership! 

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