Writing Local Stories Can Be A Struggle

Shelley Wenger

Newsbreak stories that are successful are those that hit a little TOO close to home.

Photo byShelley Wenger at Canva

I have been writing on Medium for a little over a year and I recently discovered Newsbreak. I was doing well on Newsbreak compared to Medium for several months. However, this summer, I had multiple articles that received zero views. Normally, if my views were down, all it would take is one catchy article (usually about cats and dogs) and my views (and income) would increase drastically. However, I have tried that all summer with no success.

I know that Newsbreak says that they want local news, so, when heartbreak hit my small town, I knew that I needed to write about it. I didn’t even do it for the views, but I was surprised when I got several thousand views on my story (or rambling about the incident which shook me to the core). If you haven’t had a chance to read it, you can check it out right here.

Only the truth is that getting views for something that happened so close and felt quite personal has really left a bad taste in my mouth. Am I cashing in on this awful experience? Should I really be writing about these events that have broken an entire community?

What about the family? I can’t imagine what they are going through, yet I am not afraid (or maybe I am) to write about the events that led up to this pain. Am I just rehashing this over and over, and it will only cause them more pain?

Or is there nothing wrong with writing my feelings down about a particular subject? It’s not like I gossiped and wrote things that were not true. And it was more my feelings about the story than the actual story itself.

This may be something that I need to get over if I want to be successful on Newsbreak. They love local stories and they promote them over everything else that is published on their site. Proper journalists have to do it. And I may have wanted to be one at some point, since I enjoy writing so much. I just don’t know what the right and wrong thing to do at this point.

Only time will tell.


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Shelley is a small town farm mom of two boys. She is a veterinary technician, so she is proud to write about all kinds of animals and their care. She also loves to write about writing, running a business, working from home, and much more.

Glenville, PA

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