Politics play an important part in the lives of every citizen but for some it takes on greater significance. No, these are not politicians, they are the persons who make up the ranks of the political commentator. Such persons must keep abreast of all the latest news on the political scene in their countries and the world. This means watching a wide variety of newscasts, listening to talk shows, reading publications, doing research on the internet and paying keen attention to the media in general. This will provide the information needed to fully understand the issues they intend to comment about.
A background in Journalism, mass communications, and political science is an asset but not mandatory. In this technological age he or she must also be computer literate. This is not only essential in researching to gather information but to submit commentary to the intended media choice or internet in general.
An individual may have a preference for a political party but to be taken seriously as a commentator it is important to keep that bias in check. It will do you no good if before you utter a word persons can literally predict what you are going to say about a specific issue. That is not to say that they may not suspect your political leaning but at least surprise them by appearing to give serious thought about the matter and presenting your argument in a balanced way. If you fail to do so you may find the listener quickly switching the television or radio channel rather than listening to you. Even more comical is when you are seen on the political hustings ranting and raving like a true born politician.
The same goes for the political commentator who expresses his views in writing. It is good when you have a wide audience that is eager to read what you have to say. As a matter of fact there are persons who the minute they get their favorite newspaper go straight to the opinion pages to see what a particular commentator has to say on a burning issue.
It is crucial to be able to back up your points with strong facts. For instance one may hear a commentator being accused of being biased but that commentator is quickly able to retort with facts that leave the accuser speechless. This is key to ensure that nothing stated can lead to a successful lawsuit based on an untrue or libelous statement.
You have to develop a reputation on certain subjects to be considered to be a commentator whether in print or the broadcast media. Some commentators become so good at it that you will hear them expressing their views on a variety of media. This ability sometimes leads to careers as a columnist and talk show host.
While there are instances where the commentator is part of a panel on a talk show some have their own radio slot where they share their views at a specific time. There are times when they will need to interview persons in order to get addition information.
There is no doubt that you should have a mind of your own and are willing to communicate your views. However equally important is your ability to get the pulse of the people and be able to share the views that you are getting out there from the man in the street.
There is no limit to the ranks that commentators can spring from – doctors, lawyers, journalists, businessmen, sociologists, civic groups, university lecturers, you name it. The important thing is to be fluent in getting your thoughts across forcefully. It is also key that you do not appear to be saying something one minute and then the next minute you are expressing another view. The flip flop mentality w ill not wash well with the public.
While you may hope to get a column in a top newspaper or be asked to share your views in the broadcast media you can take up the initiative on your own and start a Blog. You will have a chance to share these views to many persons in your homeland and abroad and build your credibility. This will lead to endless possibilities.