Consider Your Audience by Christine Duncan

I have been hearing a bunch of news stories lately. Mind you, I believe that all news is really editorial. There is really a slant even when it is unspoken. That isn’t necessarily a fault in the writing (although sometimes it is) as much as it is a fault of being human. Until machines write our news and probably even then given that machines are programmed by humans, news will be biased.

Don’t believe me?

Here are some recent news stories—see if you agree with my conclusions on them.

Mitt Romney’s company outsourced jobs.

The US Olympic committee knew that the uniforms for the upcoming Olympics were being made in China.

The U.S. has a trade inbalance with China.

Now tell me, having read all of those statements, weren’t your conclusions that these were bad things? Don’t you want some explanations?

Writing news is not my forte. But I believe if you believe in say, Globalism, you could find an argument that these statements were good. Or perhaps if you were Chinese, these might be good statements.

The point here is that we always have to consider where the reader is coming from. And where we as writers want them to end up. Every word should be pointed toward that goal. These statements are obviously aimed at an audience in the U.S. And they have a definite emphatic NO reaction from that audience.

Which isn’t to say that same audience really believes that stuff. Today, my husband and I were at the mall trying to find him a shirt to wear to a wedding next week. The mall was crowded and people were leaving there with bags full of clothes. Yet, I couldn’t find one shirt for my husband that was made in America. Rack after rack of clothing had labels saying, made in Mexico, the Dominican Republic and yes, China. Now, if all of those people are really so opposed to outsourcing, how could they buy that stuff? But that’s a whole ‘nother facet of being human and an interesting thing to write about. Can we say paradox?

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