Iron 24: The Op-Ed
Project Start: September 21, 2017
Project Completion Goal: October 1, 2017
Description: Prepare and submit a well written Op-Ed to the local paper for publication
October 7, 2017: Above the fold!
After writes and re-writes, and a lot of introspection, the moment of truth: The Editors of the Deseret News saw fit to publish our op-ed. This was a very satisfying project. If you'd like to check it out, you can see it in the link.
October 2, 2017: Perfect Enough
Steven and Joy picked over the content of the OpEd many times. Why? Well, there are some practical reasons: 1st, this reflects on 3 Irons and will be in the public record. Determining the tone and content needed to reflect the mission of what 3 Irons stands for. Some of our final revisions cut some references to public lands issues that we were concerned would cloud the real message of the piece. Additionally, we have many dear friends in the arts community who we know disagree with the sentiments that we are writing in this piece. But that is really the point. This is something that we feel strongly about, it is an issue that many have strong feelings for, and we believe that it is worthy of future debate. Today we submitted it to the Deseret News for approval! It's out of our hands now...but we are hopeful for publishing.
September 23, 2017: Perspective from Friends
Steven took a first crack at the op-ed. Writing this op-ed is a bit of a gamble. Basically, we are taking on the concept of "Locals First". By so doing, there will be a very predictable response, some of it from people that we include as allies and friends. Some will take this as an anti-local sentiment, or just another knife in the back of the struggling local artists who are desperate for more exposure and representation. But if we don't have the courage to stand up and have a conversation about the things we believe in, because we are afraid we might offend our friends, then well, are we truly being honest and challenging each other and engaging in open debate? Or are we all just standing around in a circle smiling and saying "yep" when really inside we are thinking "really?" To make sure that this op-ed wasn't too narrow minded itself, we asked 5 friends to take a look at it who could offer some perspective and constructive criticism.
September 21, 2017: Dear Editor...
Deep within the pages of any good newspaper is an Opinions and Editorials section. If the journalism has any ethics, they keep these sections clearly separated, and sometimes, they even let the citizens get involved. At a base level, this includes letters to the editor, but in some cases, a guest can write an editorial opinion column that the newspaper thinks might be interesting. For this Iron, we are going to try to be successful in submitting a good op-ed for publication. We have a topic of interest: localism. In order to get the best chance of this being successful, we decided to collaborate with Alliance for a Better Utah, and in particular Chase Thomas and Josh Kanter. They have written multiple op-eds for local news, and we thought they might be able to give us some solid guidance. Their tips were of great value: write about something fresh (so healthcare debate is probably out), something that engages readers and ellicits comments, 600 words is ideal, and you've got to submit by Wednesday at noon in order to make the weekend. Lastly, the editors will pick who they will pick, they may require some edits, and they will likely make their own headline. Attach a pic and a bio, and maybe a couple more for the online version, and you've got the ingredients for publication.