Focus On: Political Blogs
Get your fight faces on – this week, we’re talking politics! I realize this sort of statement irritates journalists everywhere, but I never really paid attention to what was going on in the world until I started reading political blogs. It took a desk job and lots of time to kill to force me to do my duty as a citizen and (at least somewhat) inform myself about the issues of the day. Love them or hate them, political blogs are now a permanent part of the national – and international – conversation. If you blog about politics, here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Be informed. Presumably, your goal is to inform and convince others, so you must know your subject backwards and forwards.
- Admit your bias. Everybody has one, and as a blogger, you need not pretend to be impartial. Be forthcoming with your point of view, and give your reasons for it.
- Don’t get emotional. It’s likely that your readers will agree with you about many things, so it might be tempting to rant or to bemoan the sad state of the times. While satisfying in the short term, that sort of echo chamber is not particularly interesting or useful to readers.
- Share your expertise. The term ‘politics’ encompasses a dizzying array of complex topics: the presidency, state and local government, the court system, international affairs, healthcare, social policy, economics, education…the list goes on. If you are particularly knowledgeable about any particular issue or area of policy, whether because of your professional background or because of a strong personal interest, make your blog the best source of information about it.
- Go local. Most local news programs are heavy on the traffic and weather reports, and light on coverage of municipal government and local politics. That information gap is an excellent opportunity for bloggers. Find out what’s happening in your town, and become a trusted source for local reportage.
- Delve deep. Traditional news sources are restricted by space and time allotments. You are not. You can spend as much time and go into as much detail on any one story as you want: provide historical context for it, reference and review multiple books about it, frame it from a variety of perspectives. Your only limitation is your own interest in the subject.
Finally, when you blog about a hot-button issue, be prepared to moderate a heated debate. If you missed it, check out this Daily Post about Writing Controversy.
Do you ever blog about politics? Do you get much of your news from blogs?
As always, browsing the Politics topic is a great way to find political posts on WordPress.com!