Tricky Lobbyists by Russ
February 28, 2009, 4:17 pm
Filed under: Russ

I’ve begun doing a first read on some of the profiles of “advocates” we’ve received this week from Jane Hall’s class (if anyone is interested, please join in – there are quite a few and most need to at least be sent back to the author for at least a little rewriting, so the earlier we can do this the better) and I’ve noticed a couple of trends we should all keep in mind when we’re working on this week’s issue about advocates and lobbyists.

1. The advocates being profiled are apparently really good at advocating. Some of these people are very convincing, and that’s important to convey, but we shouldn’t let them use us to do their convincing.

We need to state what they are doing – who they advocate for, and what positions they support – but we need to make sure we’re not just accepting their position as fact and republishing it. Some of the pieces I’ve read so far veer away from being profiles and into a plain recitation of the position the person is advocating for. We all know to not to do this, but it’s important to keep an especially close eye out for it this week.

2. Their positions are getting lost in the profile. I’ve found some of the profiles have gone completely the opposite direction – they assume everyone knows what the person is advocating for.

One profile I’ve read is an otherwise very good piece about a woman who advocates for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. According to the piece she tries to educate more people about what some of the lesser known but still serious symptoms are… but we aren’t told what she’s talking about. We all mostly know what PTSD is, but it would be helpful and add to the already strong piece if we had that extra detail

Cross-posted at Blog/19 and AmericanObserved.

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