Know purpose, know audience, know topic, know what the audience can do with it and journalists are setup for a successful opinion story, according to Opinion Coverage instructor Christina Hammitt.
“People have opinion, but they don’t want to talk,” Hammitt said.
In Opinion Coverage, the class opened with students simply voicing their opinion about likes and dislikes, giving commentary about Weird Al Yankovic’s “Word Crimes” and slowly escalating to more complex applications.
“I would like to learn not just to convince other people of my opinion, but how to make my opinion sensible,” said student Sean Vichinsky.
Using her learning through experimentation style, first-time MIPA instructor Hammitt hopes to teach students effective opinion writing through activities like researching strong opinion examples, starting a blog and writing every day.
Their major project is creating an opinion package where they choose an editorial, column, or review and put it on their blog with hyperlinks, videos and Storify to create a complete digital story package.
“No matter what job, profession, or where you go in life, you need to give your opinion,” Hammitt said, “So I feel, it’s the most applicable skill to learn.”