Election season writing tips

Election season writing tips

With eight months to go until America heads to the polls, you’ll likely find yourself writing about the election more often than not. Here are some tips to keep audiences — and editors — interested.

1. Write a lead that will stay timely.

Especially in the heat of primary season, election headlines seem to change by the minute. Make sure your election leads can weather new polls, candidate withdrawals, and October Surprises.

2. Avoid horse race coverage.

With smartphone notifications and 24-hour news networks, readers don’t need you to identify the frontrunner. Instead, focus on explaining complicated facts or highlighting interesting statistics readers may have missed.

3. Pay attention to detail.

Accuracy is always important when writing op-eds, particularly so when discussing elections. Don’t say “the most recent debate” when you can say “the seventh Democratic presidential debate in Dallas.”

Tim Rice