html5-img
1 / 21

Letters, letters, & more letters

Letters, letters, & more letters. Op Eds LTE Writing Public officials. Opinion Pages. Among the most read sections of any publication Decision makers (government, corporations, & nonprofits) are paying attention One of the best ways to bring an issue to public attention. Public attention.

ferrol
Télécharger la présentation

Letters, letters, & more letters

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author. Content is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use only. Download presentation by click this link. While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server. During download, if you can't get a presentation, the file might be deleted by the publisher.

E N D

Presentation Transcript


  1. Letters, letters, & more letters Op Eds LTE Writing Public officials

  2. Opinion Pages • Among the most read sections of any publication • Decision makers (government, corporations, & nonprofits) are paying attention • One of the best ways to bring an issue to public attention

  3. Public attention • Do you want it? • Are you sure? • Are we movie stars?—is any press good press?

  4. What makes a good opinion piece • Depends on the kind: • Editorials (written by newspaper staff) • Letters to the editor: written by readers • Op-eds (Opposite the Editorials): written by people with some special expertise or credibility in a certain field

  5. LTEs • Brief: 50-150 words • Timely: Generally comment on recent news • Special credentials help, but are not necessary

  6. Op Eds: • Longer: 500-750 words • Should be timely— • either comment on recent news • or, introduce new ideas and perspectives • Credentials are more important • Well written, timely, & provocative • Concise • Hits hard (takes a clear position) • Vivid images, analogies, & arguments • Facts & emotions

  7. Editors’ view of opinion section • Advocacy • Denunciations • Controversy • Astonishment • They want people to talk about what is in this section

  8. Credentials: Expertise • Training and/or work • Personal experience

  9. Timing • Is on the public radar—especially in thispublication • Something that is going on that should be in this publication • Find some way to tie into something timely—holiday, anniversary, pending government action, election, etc.

  10. Writing the piece • Unfold quickly—introduction paragraph • Focus on issue—introduce the issue • Express your opinion • Be clear and confirmed in viewpoint • Body of piece • Back viewpoint with facts, research, and/or first hand knowledge • Conclusion • Clearly restate position • Offer a solution, if possible, go beyond criticism • Issue a call to action –what can the audience do

  11. General Food for Thought • Timely & controversial— NOT outrageous • Use personal, conversational writing style • Educate without preaching • Provide a catchy title that emphasizes your central message • Who is your AUDIENCE?

  12. More Food for Thought • Try to grab the reader's attention in the first line. End with a strong or thought- provoking line. • Come down hard on one side of the argument, and never equivocate. • Identify the counterargument, and refute it with facts. • Emphasize active verbs; go easy on adjectives and adverbs. • Avoid clichés. • Avoid technical jargon and acronyms • Use specific references and easy-to-understand data rather than abstraction. • Anecdotes, examples, and anologiescan sometimes help enhance understanding of an issue.

  13. LTEs • All of the above applies • Just shorter—can’t develop the body • Make a single point • Pretty much the introduction and the conclusion of the Op Ed • Responding to recent news/opinion pieces—can assume audience familiarity

  14. Writing Public Officials • Know why you are writing • What do you hope to gain? • Are you sure this is the right audience? • Is this part of a larger campaign? • Is there already a policy/action proposed that you want the officials to support? • Is this the beginning of a campaign?

  15. More on Public officials • Address them with respect—if possible thank them for something • Be clear about your purpose • Make a clear “ask”-- be reasonable • Provide sound reasons— • Build off of existing beliefs, statements, etc. • Reference existing policies, etc. • Keep it as short as possible—one page is best • Don’t be apologetic • Thank them for their time

  16. Climate

  17. Climate

  18. Change the discussion: • Refute the mistake—then point out that the denial is really a value claim hiding as a factual claim • Change the discussion to matters of value and policy—why might support for alternative energy be good no matter your climate stance; support a case for a climate bill that does not rely on stopping climate

  19. Don’t be “the close-minded orthodoxy” conspiring to silence the opposition: • Acknowledge that debate is important to science • But . . . point out that in this case, the debate (which went on for years) has been decided • Dissenters (deniers) are a small group who have been and are heard. They have yet to offer a convincing case • Science is not a process of data collection that leads immediately to consensus

  20. Describe the difference between journalism and science: • Journalism balances coverage to demonstrate objectivity (unbiased reporting) • he said/she said • Equal time • Science uses an objective method • To gather and evaluate evidence • To test hypotheses • To facilitate vigorous debate • To generate knowledge based on vigorous debate

  21. Don’t let them assume the role of “disenfranchised underdog” • Point to the smoking gun memos—show how denial is a deliberate attempt to manipulate public opinion • Expose the links to fossil fuel funded think tanks • Remind readers of the “Tobacco Strategy” • Avoid reproducing “elitist rants against anyone foolish enough to doubt the reigning orthodoxy”

More Related