Workshop: How to Create Op-ed with Authority and Purpose
Good opinion writing should demonstrate credibility and shape minds. Unfortunately, most misses the mark because it is ill conceived, badly executed and lacks a compelling central thought. This interactive, half-day workshop for journalists and communications professionals will give you the confidence to plan, commission and write with authority and purpose. It will uncover techniques for identifying relevant topics and for developing absorbing themes. It will help you build content with a coherent narrative using ‘killer’ supporting evidence. And it will give you the tools to engage the audience from the very first line.
1. Introductions and objectives
Exercise #1: From the morning papers and the weeklies. What works? What
2. What is thought leadership?
o An original thought vs. An original expression of an existing thought
Exercise #2: Deconstructing an opinion piece from specialist publication
3. Topic. Theme. Point: the three elements of opinion writing
o Choosing a topic
o Developing a theme
o Identifying key thought/point
Exercise #3: Crafting key thought/point
4. Getting the structure right
o Getting in (and out) of a piece
o 6 intro techniques to deploy
Exercise #4: Writing an op-ed opening
o Building a coherent narrative
o Using supporting evidence
Exercise #5: Developing the opinion piece
5. Recap: 10 opinion writing dos and don’ts
About the trainer
Jon Bernstein is an award-winning journalist, editor and digital strategist. He was deputy editor, then digital director, at the New Statesman; multimedia editor at Channel 4 News; ran the Channel 4 FactCheck website during the 2005 general election; editor-in-chief of Directgov, working in the Cabinet Office’s eGovernment Unit; and editor-in-chief of dotcom startup and technology website silicon.com. In 2011, he was named Website Editor of the Year by the British Society of Magazine Editors for Newstatesman.com.
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