Part 1: Breaking Down an Issue Story

Using Alcohol’s Hold on Campus, The Chronicle of Higher Education as example…

1. Clearly articulate the issue.
What is the issue? Why is it important? Why should people care?

2. Localize the issue.
How are you going to narrow down the issue? What angle? What location? What community?

3. Identify key facts and statistics
List five (5) key things the audience should know/learn about this issue?

4. Identify key players in the issue
Who is affected by this issue? Identify at least four (4) kinds of people or groups.

5. Strategy for locating key players
Where/how are you going to find people to talk to? Come up with a plan for each of the “key players” you identified in Step 4.


About Nick DiUlio

My name is Nick DiUlio, a freelance writer and editor from New Jersey. I have been passionate about the craft of writing since I was old enough to spell, and this love has led to a successful career in journalism and creative nonfiction. As a freelancer, I have covered a wide range of topics and personalities, as my published work has focused on everything from profiles of artists and important political figures to hard-news stories with both national and local appeal; from restaurant and beverage reviews to tips on fashion and finance; from health and wellness pieces to celebrity Q&A’s. My work has appeared in several local, regional and national publications—both in print and online—including Philadelphia Magazine,, Miller-McCune, New Jersey Monthly, Eating Well, and Delaware Today. Additionally, I am the South Jersey Bureau Chief for New Jersey Monthly and an adjunct journalism professor at Rowan University. To be sure, the broadness of my body of work seems only to be matched by my boundless interest in almost every subject imaginable (except Warren Zevon). Check out some of my most recently published work here.
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