Writing About Issues

An issue is a hot-button topic that can get people talking and sometimes even angry. These are topics that a writer must be careful to cover without being too biased or slanting the article too much. It is also important for these articles to be based on facts and research, as the writer will most likely receive a lot of feedback from readers with opposing views on the topic. Common issues include canned lion hunting, climate change and endangered species.

The word “issue” is often used as a synonym for the act of sending out or putting forth, but it can be a general term that means something that has been published and distributed authoritatively or publicly: a writ issued by the court; a new issue of stamps. It can also refer to a specific quantity of something that has been printed and circulated: an issue of a magazine.

To write an effective issue article, it is important to think like a storyteller and use all the elements of storytelling, particularly character development. Including a variety of characters (even if they are animals) in your article will help keep readers engaged, and will show that you care about the subject of your article. The more rounded your characters are, the more empathy and interest your reader will have in your article. For example, if writing about animal cruelty in the wild, it is important to include a starving African woman with flies on her eyelids and pot bellies in your story, not just a picture of a cute lion cub. This is how you will convey the reality of the situation and make a difference in your readers’ lives.