Finding the “Local Angle”

So, this next round of articles must be about a national or international issue, but written in such a way that it appeals to a local audience.  This is called finding the “local angle” for the story.

As we’ve discussed at length in class, the average reader is weary from being bombarded by so much information, so the journalist and news organizations have to find ways of reaching them and making the news seem relevant.

Here are a few examples of recent news articles that take a local angle on a national or international issue.

You will notice that in each of these stories there is a connection between the local and national.  The writer’s job in such stories is to foreground the connection between the national story and the local.  This is done through a lede that specifically mentions place right away.  In the first, a story from the Chicago Tribune, the writer mentions Lake Bluff, IL, a Chicago suburb.  In the second, students celebrate the national Banned Book Week on the campus of the University of Notre Dame (IN), and, in the third, the national news comes to Lynchburg, with a presidential candidate speaking at Liberty University.

The articles then quote the local participants (or those affected), and in some cases, bring in experts that help to put the meaning of the event into perspective.  Be mindful that not all readers will understand the significance of the national/international event or issue, so you will have to provide that, usually in the nut graf.

If you’re stuck on what to write about, consider what kinds of national/international events might affect Sweet Briar Students, or events that might be made more relevant by getting the opinion of Sweet Briar students and professors, especially those who study the issues raised by the news.  Here’s a list I came up with:

  • US economic crisis (unemployment, sluggish job market, etc.)
  • 2012 Presidential election
  • break-down in Israeli/Palestinian peace talks
  • continued turmoil in Libya
  • Economic crisis in Europe
  • 9/11 anniversary
  • upcoming speakers on national and international issues

Good luck, and let me know if you have questions/concerns.






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