Preachy Morons

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An editorial seems like the easiest type of news article to write, but often it is the most difficult. Not only do reporters have the task of finding something newsworthy but they have to infuse their own opinion into the article. And during the infusion, the reporter has to find the right balance of opinion and fact. If the article is too heavily opinionated, anyone who disagrees with the viewpoint will disregard the reporter as "a moron." And if it is too factual, it comes off as being "preachy." I think the best approach is the informative opinion approach mentioned here, under the topic "Writing for something specific." When a complaint becomes fused with facts and suggestions, the article is appreciated by more viewpoints.


I also wanted to comment on Dr. Jerz's blog about the surprising statement issued by a Yale professor. I had to read the first statement three times before I understood what it was saying. It's such an odd statement and it was jumbled. Once the light clicked on and I understood what was going on in the statement, I agree that it was a sexist statement. It also brings to light that any quote can be used if put into the right article to sway a reader's opinion. For instance, if that quote was used in an editorial discussing the un-advancement of women in the 21st century due to male stereotyping, it would have a great impact on the editorial and on how people felt about the issuer of the quote.  


Angela Palumbo said:

Michelle, this is a wonderful blog! I didn’t really think about editorials as hard but now that you said it, you’re right. If you put in too many facts, you’ll come off “preachy” but if you don’t put in enough, you’ll look like a “moron.” So once again, everything comes down to the whole subjective question of exactly what to do. What some may perceive as too much, others will see as adequate and so on. I will say, though, that I have never read an editorial and said, “This person’s an idiot.” I may disagree, though. But as a writer you’re never going to be able to persuade everyone to see things your way. The best you can do is follow the same procedure you do for writing a news story: find something newsworthy and ask yourself who would give you the best information about this. Maybe you’d want to take a poll of students if they have ever walked into the cafeteria and not been able to find a seat to back up your claim (or disprove it) that there is not enough room in the caf. I think writing an editorial will be hard, however, looking at the website it just seems like you have to report the same as you’d have to for a regular news story. Sorry, no breaks in the workload here. :P

Michelle Tantlinger said:

Thanks! As for dismissing some editorials as “moronic” I was thinking of some I have read in the past, mostly political editorials/opinions. Sometimes, in a zest to support one’s favorite politician or political party a writer starts laying blame, with no cause, to the opposition. On Sundays the Tribune Review has a big opinion section and the Trib leans obviously to the right. I’ve found a few examples of bad opinion pieces in that section. And I know the same thing could be said about the Post-Gazette, but the Trib is the paper I’m familiar with. I think the lesson to learn here is to just avoid writing political pieces (haha)!

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