So, you want to get into politics online? You’ve seen too many conspiracy videos. Too many biased New York Post ads, and now you’re tired. Moreover, you want your political commentary out there but don’t want to compete against the sea of conspiracy theorists online. The political commentary you have to give is thorough, well-investigated, and thought-provoking.
Considering Politics through Journalism
In journalism, if you have a piece you’d like to write about, you write a query letter to pitch it. You do some preliminary research on your own – you interview some people, you look up some facts, etc. Then, you write this information up into a letter where you explain what you want to write about. You explain what the focus and direction of the article will be. The query letter includes what your experience is and why you’re the right person to write about it.
Journalists have the benefit of being the missing link between the politician’s message and the public. For example, politicians are more likely to interview journalists, especially those with a big audience. Politicians will more likely take interviews with established journalists. Journalists have established bases to reach and get press passes into press conferences to ask politicians questions. Average bloggers aren’t granted this luxury.
Having a journalistic background helps becoming a political commentator. Journalists acquaint themselves with both the technology and the process of politics. Supposedly, they’re non biased and well-researched. There is more hypothetical trust in the population between journalists and the public.
Forming Connections and a Voice
Anyone with any degree can become a journalist. You can teach yourself basic video, audio, and written editing online with free tools. Pitching to a media outlet is easy and non-threatening; editors constantly look for under-the-radar news and fresh outlooks. There really has to be a good story and good characters to be sellable to an outlet.
Establishing yourself as a journalist will bring readership/viewership that wants to know your opinions and would trust your outlooks.
How to do it?
Start by establishing yourself with politicians and media outlets. Even small politicians knowing who you are can help your career take off. Others in the industry will know you and will agree to speak with you. And this can give you a head start and fresh angles on news and events before others break it. Introducing yourself to lesser-known and everyday people in politics is important. These people are more likely to be comfortable talking with small bloggers than big industry professionals. They also have tons of information. People who overhear and oversee sensitive information can become a valuable ticket in the world of politics.
Of course, there are political commentators who don’t rely on interviewing but instead just offer up their thoughts to viewers. These creators still have very well-researched opinions and are well-aware of libel laws. In America, there is a lot of leeway in what’s considered an opinion. But, even in those cases, there needs to be some sort of fact to base these opinions on. This is especially true if you have a large enough viewership that can affect a politician’s image.
Furthermore, making biases clear is a deeply ethical journalistic concern. Obviously, viewers who want a slant in their media can find and watch videos geared towards their perspectives. There’s ample biased information that’s both informative or disruptive online. It’s important to indicate that you have bias. Not every reader clearly understands what bias means. For instance, bias can be ignoring sources that contradict your claim, cherry-picking quotes, or removing criticism from sources. Clarifying that your takes come with bias as you have emotional weight on certain issues, not disguise bias as equal, creates trust. Debaters should be able to back up their points without distracting or demeaning the opposing side. They don’t have to devote themselves to ad-hominem attacks or relying on logical fallacies.
Journalists have a moral obligation to the public to be unbiased. It’s manipulative to portray something as the utmost truth. When bias portrays itself as truth, public perception distorts; thus, people are manipulated under false pretenses. As a result, posting a video that doesn’t give the viewer knowledge of bias implicates the audience, which causes distrust between the journalist and the viewers.
30 Seconds to Define the Obama Administration
TikTok has become a booming platform to create political content. Informative videos on people and policies, history and the future are increasing in popularity. As a result of this, there are more philosophical videos on political theory. Historical videos on politicians in recent and distant pasts have been increasing in popularity. Even commentary on current events gets hundreds of thousands of likes. The lack of time given on the app and the lack of attention of the average viewer means the creator has to pack in as much information into 60 seconds as possible.
Instagram has a similar problem for creators. How can videos or pictures correctly define content and information that isn’t easily summarized? Instagram’s captions create further readable content. Long-form captions allow the creator to further explain complex information that people interested would want to know. But, even news agencies know that the impact of video over the written word is undeniable. There are a lot more viewers to be had and money to be made in visual, rather than written content.
Script political videos on short video apps or for short-length videos. This way, creators have a concrete idea about what they’re going to say. The time that each point takes to get to is better managed. For example, there are no fumbles and there’s no empty time. Making too many points in a condensed video makes it all the more difficult for viewers to understand the material.
Can you make a good point in 10 seconds? In 60? If you need 60 seconds to make a video and it requires a second part, simplify the first point. Obviously, avoid cutting up a point as much as possible while still being exciting.
Politics are as prevalent as sports or entertainment, even on social media. So often, people think you have to juj up politics to make it more exciting. Consequently, conspiracy theorists rely on their ideas being more dramatic than the average political story to sell their concepts. Making your content dramatic can fall into the category of a false narrative. Still, there are countless ways to make ethical, political videos informative and entertaining. There isn’t a need to be deceitful and manipulative on platforms where people’s trust is in your hands.