Yes, You can write a commentary
By Public Affairs staff, Air University Public Affairs
/ Published April 06, 2012
MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. --
The Dispatch wants to hear from you. We encourage our readers to think about their roles in the Air Force and share their experiences in commentaries for this page.
According to the Air Force instruction, "Editorials should help readers understand Air Force policies and programs. They must not imply criticism of other governmental agencies, nor advocate or dispute specific political, diplomatic or legislative matters."
Editorials can accomplish a variety of goals, including those listed here:
· Explain or interpret - Airmen of all ranks can use editorials to explain rules or decisions on a sensitive or controversial subject. An example is a commentary that explains force shaping, or maybe you have a unique job or role in the community about which you want more people to know.
· Persuade - Editorials of persuasion aim to see the solution, not the problem. From the first paragraph, readers will be encouraged to take a specific, positive action. An example would be an article encouraging military members to exercise their right to vote.
· Praise - These editorials commend an action or event that is extraordinary or recognize people and organizations for something done well, such as reaching the annual Air Force Assistance Fund goal.
Commentaries are written in first person and usually are 400-600 words long. Topics can vary, whether you're discussing something that happened at Maxwell or explaining an Air Force issue in which you have a personal or professional interest. The result is always the same - providing an important message for Dispatch readers.
Here are some writing tips to keep in mind:
· The commentary should have an introduction, body and conclusion like the other commentaries in the Dispatch.
· The perspective should be yours, whether it is personal or professional. This is your chance to voice your opinion, which will provide readers with a deeper understanding of an issue.
· Please do not think of this as the comments section after online articles. Your commentary byline will feature your name and unit, so it needs to be professional. Good editorials engage issues, not personalities. Please refrain from name-calling or petty tactics of persuasion.
The Maxwell-Gunter Dispatch is your community newspaper, and many of our best story ideas and commentaries come from you, our readers. If you have an idea for a commentary, news article or feature story, contact our office at 953-3783.