16 September 2011

How about writing an ‘opinion piece’?


Tim Dick <smhopinion@smh.com.au> or


Roslyn Guy <opinion@theage.com.au>letters@theage.com.au


or else phone the switchboard of the paper you’re targeting and ask for the name and email address of the current Opinion editor.


Don’t waste time trying to phone the Opinion editor first to discuss it. They’re too busy and rarely phone back. Just send them the piece, inviting them to “feel free to make minor corrections or amendments, or to get back to me if you want a change in approach.”  Editors are looking for a strong debating piece that makes a reasoned case, not based on vague assertions or ad hominem attacks, so that the reader will feel “That made good sense, and it told me things I’d never known or thought of before.”


And don’t assume the editors are agin us because they keep publishing the opposition. It’s their business to find good pieces on both sides of the debate, and they can’t find them if we don’t offer them.  Don’t waste time dissecting a previous Opinion piece — readers won’t have it before them — but by all means hang your piece on the hook of recent news reports or statements by political leaders. (This is a difference from Letters, which often begin with a specific reference to a previous letter or article in the same paper. Another difference is that you may be paid for an Opinion article.)

I’m sure there are several SPA members who could start to publish Opinion pieces.

Below is a sample of  the sort of Opinion article by the other side that needs opposing in the Letters columns, but also countering by the writing of our own sort of Opinion pieces.




‘Big Australia’ has its advantages if we can improve resource management by Paul Kerin.

















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