Why not start off the morning with a little editorial writing?

The first session of my day was with Chuck Baldwin, the journalist in residence at the University of South Dakota. He took us through the basics of writing editorials in a very interesting process.

First, he’d shoot a dart at one of the students in the audience. Then, the student would read what was written on the dart, which was part of a made-up scenario about a campus issue. Then, we’d get sixty seconds to start to write a part of the editorial. And then we’d share, and repeat. Here were the scenarios:

  • An audit has been conducted and $100,000 of student activity fees are missing
  • The SGA discussed the missing money in a closed-door meeting
  • No one will talk about it
  • Student body presidential elections are coming up
  • An open records request is being fought by the SGA and administrators

Overall, it was a really interesting exercise and one that I think could be used to break down editorial-writing. He also reinforced a really important point: your editorial shouldn’t try to accomplish lots of different things; just one or two. That is definitely something I should try and remember.

-Rachel Southmayd


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