The mega-data-info-social age has left us with very little time to become the readers and writers that we would like to be. To become a pro-Israel activist who writes hard-hitting in-depth analyses on Israel, the Middle East, the Arab-Israel conflict, the peace process, the UN bias, the rise of Antisemitism, and the EU attitude towards Israel, is overwhelming, frustrating and certainly not instant.
Many skills are required to produce a killer article and many considerations go into conveying a message concisely, coherently and appealingly. An article demands time, requires knowledge, warrants writing skills and always needs proofing and polishing.
Arthur Brisbane, one of the best known American newspaper editors of the 20th century said:
Much has changed since Brisbane made his observation. Brisbane’s insight is all the more relevant today due to technological advances, accessibility and the ever increasing abundance of information. It is thus imperative for the writer to catch the reader’s attention and deliver the message as quickly as possible. The amount of information to which we are exposed and the pace at which new information is available has made us selective. We tend to skim the headlines, grab an article and the save the bookmarks of all those ‘very important’ articles that we never get round to reading.
Was the above image a welcomed breather? Did the above image capture a lot of the above text’s essence? If you cannot easily answer, simply watch your social media ticker in real-time and take note of what captures your attention. Which messages do you feel that you have quickly understood? A lot of it is about graphics…isn’t it?
If you do have a message to deliver, perhaps you do not have to be an acclaimed writer-scholar. It may only take a little creativity and simple software to produce your own advocacy graphic to convey your message. By no means can graphics replace the depth of full length articles, substitute analyses or develop well presented arguments, but graphics may help and be a solution. Even the well renowned writers find that their most avid readers run out of time sometimes.
It might just not be enough to hit your reader between the eyes with your first sentence. Hit them with a graphic too.
~ This article is part one of a series of short articles to follow on more effective advocating.
This post is part of the 9 Adar project, an initiative of the Pardes Center for Judaism and Conflict Resolution, part of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies.