An issue is a topic of discussion, debate or controversy. For example, political activists might say that they want to “talk about the real issues.” The term is also used to describe a matter of personal concern. For example, a person who frequently picks fights might be said to have anger management issues. This usage is controversial, and some people find it offensive or euphemistic. But it is generally accepted in journalistic writing, and many newspapers publish articles on issues that are highly controversial or that raise important questions.
The word issue originally meant to put something out, as when the post office issues stamps or a magazine issues its latest edition. But it soon came to mean a controversial topic that the public is interested in discussing. The term is also sometimes used to refer to a problem or difficulty: Someone who is in financial trouble may be said to have issues.
When writing an article about an issue, it’s important to present facts and statistics in addition to your own opinion. A reader will be more likely to trust your opinion if it is backed by research and statistics. If you are unsure about how to approach an issue, read the news and watch the headlines for hot topics that might interest your audience.
If you’re not sure what to write about, try creating a file folder with headlines, facts and statistics related to the topic. Then, start writing. Keep in mind that when you write an issue-oriented article, you’re taking a risk. It’s not easy to be unbiased when writing about a controversial subject, so it’s best to be prepared for criticism from your readers.