BLOG 7: Exploring Writers’ Voices

There are many foreign correspondent voices that pull readers in, but others can turn readers away. Good elements of writing are key for keeping reader’s attention, such as voice, detail and tone.

Eric S. Margolis is journalist that portrays elements of good writing in his blog posts. Margolis a credited journalist and foreign correspondent who writes for The Huffington Post, and has appeared in The New York TImes, the International Herald Tribune and the Los Angeles Times.

On his blog, Margolis creates creative titles to draw readers in. An example of this is his article titled, “The Grim Reaper Knocks on Greece’s Door.” Personally, when I hear anything about politics I tune it out, but using a creative title with words such as “Grim Reaper,” makes the article seem like it will be more interesting to read. Margolis’ post kept my attention because his post was tasteful. He creates a tasteful style by incorporating his own voice. He does this in the very beginning by his opening. “PARIS – As the squalid drama of Greece’s bankruptcy unfolds, many alarmists claim the European Union is about to disintegrate. British and Americans are cheering the ills of the EU.  On top of all this, it’s a blazing 39.8 C here in the City of Light.” By adding, “On top of all this, it’s a blazing 39.8 C here in the City of Light,” it helps keep the tone tasteful and the reader interested. The tone and voice of his writing sounded very conversational, which as a reader made reading the post more inviting, versus if the tone was too serious.

Many things work in Margolis’s post such as creativity, voice and tone which helped me continue to read his other works.

Other foreign correspondents do not always keep readers’ attention though. This is the case for Roger Cohen. Coincidentally enough, Cohen has worked for the same newspapers as Margolis. Cohen is a credible foreign correspondent and editor for The New York TImes. He has also written for The International Herald Tribune. Although each foreign correspondent I have analyzed has worked for the same company, I find myself gravitating more towards Margolis’ writing style.

Cohen is a well-respected writer who presents solid, factual information, but the way he delivers it does not keep my attention. An example of this is in his post, “Soften the Greek Deal.” Right off the bat, nothing in me wants to continue reading further into this subject, versus Margolis’s Greece article called, “The Grim Reaper knocks on Greece’s door.” Margolis’s creative, tasteful title is able to pull me into reading more.

Throughout Cohen’s post, he states long, wordy information that can cause the reader to lose focus. An example of this is when he states, “Syriza, the left-wing party governing Greece, was elected early this year to bring change to a country suffering one of the sharpest peacetime economic declines in modern history.” The sentence could have been more simple and concise. I would have stated it by saying, “Syriza, has been put in charge in order to help Greece recover from an economic crisis.” Personally, I do not need all the information in Cohen’s original sentence. Throughout the rest of his post, he continues with longer, wordier paragraphs they confused the reader. The tone throughout the rest of the post does not seem conversational. This is a flaw I see in Cohen’s writing compared to Margolis’.

After analyzing these two well-respected foreign correspondents’ writings, I have realized that I gravitate more towards conversational style, with creative tones and tasteful pieces of information. When information is bland and presented to me in a non-tasteful manner, I find myself unable to concentrate. This has taught me many things, in the future when I continue to write on different subjects, I will strive to keep it fun, fresh and interesting.

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