Back to Writing Skills
for a National Audience
SNN Staff and Steve Kimber, University of King's College School
Journalistic writing is meant to be not just self-expression
but rather to communicate a specific story to someone. It is
very much audience-oriented.
The online SNN Student Magazine is published monthly and read
by students throughout Canada and the world. SNN publishes stories
that have local (your school, community), provincial, national
and international appeal.
Understanding that SNN's key audience is students in all provinces
of Canada, here are some tips you can use to make your story
appeal to a national/ international audience.
Story with National Appeal
- If your article deals with something that is happening in
your school or community, find an angle that appeals to a national
audience. Ask yourself if students in schools elsewhere would
be interested in what your school is doing? For example, an innovative
course, a student who is doing something unique with his/her
life or in his/her community.
- When you are trying to figure out what to include -- and
not include -- in your story, it sometimes helps to imagine you're
telling your story to one person. Imagine a student in another
part of the country who has similar interests to you but doesn't
know anything about you, or your school, or your community. What
would you need to tell that person to help her or him understand
the story you're trying to tell?
- Make a statement in your article referring to what students
may think/feel on a national level.
- Research your story idea to see what is happening in other
Story that appeals to Youth
- Gathering the local perspective on a national story brings
home the importance, impact and meaning the story has in their
lives. It can help students in other provinces understand why
a particular event is important to them, their school, their
- Writing stories that concern and are specially of interest
to people throughout Canada ie. the plight of Western farmers
- how do youth in those provinces feel about their future? How
does their plight relate to students in other provinces ie. children
of Newfoundland fishers?
- While you want to reach a broad general audience with your
story, that doesn't necessarily mean you should eliminate all
of the specific details that give it life. In fact, perhaps paradoxically,
the more specifically you write your story, the more likely readers
will connect with it. The children of Newfoundland fishers, for
example, may not think they have much in common with the children
of western farmers but when they read a story that focuses on
how factors beyond anyone's control - like the weather - can
affect a farm family's life, they may suddenly realize that there
are more similarities than they would have guessed. And then
they can make their own connections with the story.