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Taking Writing for OpEdNews to the Next level

Last month OpEdNews hit some more record highs. We broke a million visits to the site for the first time. We had record numbers of hits, files pages and visits. And we're going to keep growing. We want to not only grow bigger, but better, which will only help us grow bigger, reaching more people faster. We want to see higher quality articles- more articles that report on the news, rather than just comment on it. The best news reporting comes from doing digging and interviewing. You don't have to have a press pass to do it. (Though we have been helping a number of our regular writers get press passes to conferences and events.) You do have to have a bit of self initiative and chutzpah.

If you look at the best reporting in the NY Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and from writers like Seymour Hersch, the reporters dig up info and talk to sources.

Nowadays, anyone can do it. You won't always reach your first interview target, but sometimes, you can get amazing information from assistants. Imagine if you spent some time on the phone with Monica Goodling last winter, or Rosemary Woods, during the Nixon era.

This can be tough, challenging work and is not for everyone. But it's worth a try.

Then, there's another way that many other internet media sites and blogs use. They re-report, with discussion and analysis, what other media dig up. If you find a nugget of hard data that is reported by CNN, NY Times, Washington Post, MSNBC, Reuters, McClatchy, etc., you can cite the link to the article, quote up to 499 words of the article and discuss the story, interpret it, pull in information from other sources that you cite and link to and, in that way, build an original story that can be better, more revealing, harder hitting and more directly exposing what's really happening.

How many times do the lamestream media publish important news on page eight of section "D" of the paper? We can take that news and make it a main headline. It's not a guarantee, we want to feature this kind of article. We think this kind of article will get us broader pickup by networks, by bloggers and wider exposure through digg.com and other social networking sites.

Yes, you are going a little beyond the standard one subject rant. Yes, to do your best on it, you'll find a few different sources of information and weave them together, making your story better than the single articles you're linking together.

Check out dailykos.com, rawstory.com, talkingpointsmemo.com and mydd.com to see how they do this. It works.

This is one of the ways we're going to take OpEdNews to the next level journalistically.

We have a crisis in America. The lamestream media will go down in history as failing democracy. OpEdNews is one of a handful of media websites leading the way to fight FOR democracy, for the constitution. You are our soldiers. We need you to sharpen your weapons and learn new skills. Take your writing to the next level. Use your camera phones to take pictures and use them in your articles (don't use photos that are copyrighted. We take respect of creative rights VERY seriously.)

For many of you, your writing started out as a way to express your anger and frustration. But you've been excercising your writing muscles, some of you for years now, and you are ready to take your writing to the next level. We now have more editors who can help you, and we're always looking for new volunteers.

So, the next time you see a news article that piques your interest or pisses you off, consider using it as the kernal for an article. Take a little more time researching it, finding other sources, using google news for articles and technorati.com for blogger reports.

If you haven't submitted an article or diary to OpEdNews yet, what are you waiting for. We're not a site that looks to only publish celebrities. There's a reason they call us "the people's media." Try a diary or submit an article, or break the ice with a comment. Join the community and become a part of taking back the media. Even consider writing something about where you live. You can post an article that only goes to the state or county or country where you live. You can USE OpEdnews to creat a local alternative media for your home town. 

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