So if you haven’t realized my passion is writing. Duh right! However, prior to this semester I really did not understand how difficult news reporting and writing could be. Ouuuuu chilllleeee Let me tell you this class has really pushed me to the limit. I always thought I was a fairly good writer until this class.
News reporting and writing in a nut shell is using the basic English writing tips with a twist. News reporting writing is short and sweet but packed with information to keep readers interested. I’m not going to give a long drawn out lesson but I will touch on a few things I picked up.
A big part of journalistic writing is figuring out what is most important and giving it to the reader up front. A format called inverted pyramid is used to help meet the requirements for creating a news worthy article. The inverted pyramid is a upside down pyramid placing information in descending order. It starts off with the most important information first, next additional support information, lastly information that would be nice to have but not needed. The pyramid was designed this way because in this day and age reading is not a hobby of most and a reader can stop reading a article at any moment.
Who knows what a lead or lede is? Anyone? So I don’t know about you but I don’t read newspapers. LOL Yes, I keep up with daily news just not by reading the newspaper. Well I’ll tell you, the lead is the first line that grabs the readers attention to continue reading. The lead is where you give the reader as much of the important information as possible with the use of 5W’s and 1H: who, what, when, where, why and how. The kicker is most great leads are a single sentence! Seems hard right?
Learning to limit information that I write about has also been a struggle. Pretty much knowing when to stop! During this semester I have done a few interviews for class projects and obtained far more information than I needed to use. New journalist like myself tend to do what is called “notebook emptying".
Notebook emptying is the idea of a journalist shaking every fact out of a notebook directly into a story. This can cause a article to be too length and ultimately intimidate the reader.
With that being said I’ll stop the lesson right there! Journalism is a lot more than just storytelling. It is tough because I am breaking away from the traditional writing format I am use to. I'm going to master it just watch!