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Blogging About News Stories

Too many times I’ve made the mistake of writing a long email or a post about a breaking news story, having made the assumption that the person(s) who see what I’ve written know what my topic is.  I’d write a piece that was ninety percent commentary and opinion, with only offhand referrals to the facts of the story.  That post isn’t accomplishing much if your reader isn’t familiar with your topic.  Moreover, it’s a rule of common civility that you and the parties you are communicating with have a mutual grasp of the subject at hand.

I’ve provided four steps that work well for a blog post about a current event.  Your opinion is going to appear in each of these sections, simply from the manner in which you have written them.  But your post will consist of orderly divisions that take the reader from Point A to Point Z in clearly delineated fashion.  You can accomplish stamping your opinion on the issue just as effectively by taking a journalistic approach as you can by starting with your opinion and throwing in a few facts along the way.

Provide a Brief Summary of your Topic

It really doesn’t take much to set the stage.  The difficult part with this step is knowing where to stop: there are many small points of fact that are unnecessary when you are providing an overview.  If you are writing about the introduction of the new Apple phone, you would do many readers a service by describing in a few sentences the noisy debate over the iPhone 4X versus the iPhone 5 that preceded its introduction.  That is one of the principal elements of the story that eluded many casual observers; it’s enough to describe the (presumed) difference between the two without discussing the (presumed) market impact of each.

Quote the Principals

Quotations lend credence to your piece.  Using our example of the iPhone, reaction quotes would be appropriate from mobile phone competitors and from others such as Microsoft or Google that see the iPhone as competition for one reason or another.  The issues are iPhone vs Samsung et al in terms of direct competition and iPhone vs Android or Windows on a different front – the battle of the Silicon Valley giants.

Discuss the Impact

It’s important to define your issue.  The new iPhone made news at several levels: as a hot item for consumers, as Apple’s most recent success in a string of successes, as an impactful step in the battle of the mobile software platforms, and as the cap on Steve Jobs’ astonishing run as Apple CEO.  You may have opinions on all of these areas, but it probably makes sense to confine your comments to one or two in order to keep your post coherent and effective.

Offer your Conclusions

Here’s where you get to define what you think is the real news in your story.  Draw on the facts as you’ve stated them to support your conclusions, but don’t be afraid to be assertive in your conclusions.  This is where traditional journalism and the internet part ways; op-ed pieces in newsprint are usually relatively restrained even though they are opinion pieces.  The blogosphere has no such history.  There were a lot of speculative stories about the differing results that introduction of an updated iPhone 4 would have versus a new product – the iPhone 5.  You could frame your conclusions based on those stories and come up with a fairly concise wrap-up of the whole circus – and a circus it was, which is what made it so newsworthy.

Author Bio:- Bob Hartzell has been writing for five years about education, business, budgets, and other life essentials on a variety of websites.  He writes steadily on the changes in collegiate goals, having published multiple articles on undergraduate education and such topics as the best master’s online. He lives in Maine where indoor sports like blogging are essential during the winter.

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