News writing from forums – 4 angles to look for

News writing is an ideal outlet for forum opinions. This form of writing is a great way of turning the views of forum contributors into a strong and readable news article.

Forums are important barometers for online and offline marketers, lobbyists, stock brokers, journalists are others who wish the gauge public sentiment.

Niche forums can tell you exactly how people feel about certain products or issues as well as provide guidance as to what their needs are.

Forums are rich hunting grounds for those seeking information because there are massive amounts of quotes to work with. Journalists love quotes and will make use of their news writing skills to extract the pertinent information and turn it into news.

A news writing expert would have a number of options when tackling his or her forum article and will keep an eye out for the following angles.

1. Reaction – after an important event within the community, you can trawl the forums to measure people’s reactions. This is among the common forms of news writing derived from forums. For instance, you may like to write about the reaction to Martine Scorsese’s Oscar victory, the Colts’ Super Bowl triumph or the election race. The list is endless. You would report on good and bad reaction or even make them into separate articles.

2. Trends – this is not only about fashion. It is a measure of how people think, behave, spend, travel and do anything else in life. You can keep an eye on forums and try to spot changes in how people behave and feel within a community. Is opinion about the war in Iraq shifting? Do people travel less often? Is soccer becoming more popular in the United States? It could be a treasure trove of articles for news writers.

3. Unusual – look for opinions that go against the general. Using news writing techniques, highlight an unusual view and tell people how it goes opposite to what almost everyone else is saying. Bizarre views make for great copy.

4. News – as obvious as it sounds, has somebody said or revealed something that is truly newsworthy? Did anyone claim to have been abducted by aliens? Has someone boasted to have invented the next best thing since sliced bread? Maybe somebody has performed an amazing feat of athletic skill that is worth telling the whole world about.

These are only some of the methods you can use to extract news from a discussion forum. You do not have to be a professional journalist to identify news angles but to have the right impact, you should try to employ proper news writing standards when putting your article together.

This means using news writing’s who, what, where, when, why and how system and ensuring that the key piece of information you want to relate is right at the top. You should also make sure that you attribute what you write to the forum contributors, highlighting the url and the date, in case the moderator decides to withdraw the posting later on for whatever reason.