I have never been interested in reading op-ed pieces before. I don’t know why, but I just never took the time to read what some people are saying about things. Then I took the Opinion writing class and I realized how fun writing an opinion piece can be. I am currently struggling a little bit, but hopefully in time I will be able to write as good as the guest speaker that came to the class to speak.
Before SF Gate columnist editor John Diaz came to my journalism class to discuss his experiences, I read some of his op-ed pieces and I have to say, he makes it look so easy. My favorite was the one called “Worst dog in the world? Move over, Marely.” In his piece, he wrote about his experiences with his dog while tying it to the movie “Marley & Me.” I thought it was a nice different piece compared to the other ones I read. His other ones were opinions on hard news events.
In fact, that is the type of op-ed writing I like to do because it makes it personal and people can relate to it.
Here are the top 5 things I learned from John:
1) Don’t write about personal consumer issues otherwise the company will give you something in compensation. And that is not exactly helping others and you’re just being selfish.
2) Write about something that can reach a wider audience and not just a certain type.
3) Even though its an opinion piece, you still need to research and do reporting.
4) Your writing should have a voice; the words should reflect your voice/feelings.
5) Just because a story has been done before, doesn’t mean you can’t take a different angle to it.