435 N. Michigan Ave.
4th Floor Editorial
Chicago, IL
60611
312-222-3425
Dodie Hofstetter
Editorial Board Member
My Role

I am a member of the editorial board of the Chicago Tribune and editor of Voice of the People (editor of the letters to the editor section).
My Biography

I have been at the Tribune since 1981 and in this job since 1998. I began working for the company at Suburban Trib as a copy editor. I have had many editing lives at the Tribune ... a copy editor, a news editor, a photo editor ... I have worked in the news sections, the business sections, the feature sections. I worked on a Tribune cookbook. I was even the garden editor for a brief time.

I think all those experiences helped prepare me for this job.

The best part of the job is that anything going on in the world can be something that I will be dealing with. Some days my section may be filled with letters that are one-sided. This often happens because I tend to hear first from people who are not happy about something. People who are happy with the way things are going or the way something was written in the paper often don't take the time to write letters. Perhaps they feel they don't need to.

However, once these critical letters run, I will then often hear from the other side. Thus both sides of an issue have their say in the section, but usually this balance of representation isn't achieved in a day.

Some readers accuse me of following a personal agenda in my letter choices; they couldn't be more wrong. I run letters that I vehemently disagree with all the time.

We receive between 1,200 and 2,000 each week. We publish 50 to 70 each week, so competition is fierce. We also post an additional 10 to 20 letters each day online.

Letters should be fewer than 400 words; preferably fewer than 200 words.

All letters must contain street addresses, including towns and states (not for publication), a phone number and must be signed with the person's real name ... those signed by "Sleepless in Seattle" or some such thing are for Ask Amy, not for my section.

In the end, perfectly fine letters don't make it into print or onto the Web site, simply because we don't have the time, space or staff to produce them all. And that is my biggest frustration.
My Interests

When I am not at the Tribune, I often can be found at Columbia College Chicago, where I teach several classes in the Journalism Department. This is a passion of mine. I also adore the chance to hang out with my husband and our adult twin children and their significant others ... and our "baby," our sweet Brandie girl, a "Humane Society special" lovely mutt. My husband and I love to cook and throw dinner parties for our friends and family. With what little time is left, we love to read, enjoy movies, work out, travel.