Our lecturer this week was definitely a personal favorite of mine. He discussed the importance of the quality of writing in journalism, which to me, seems to be a little lost on some these days.
With all of the emphasis on video and photos, many forget how a great story can be told simply through words. Think about how storytelling started in the first place. Our history, and all of its entertaining events, was taken down in writing. Those prove that while the visual aspects of journalism definitely help, the core of it is still writing.
To write well though, your senses are integral. How’s anybody supposed to know how the setting of your story is feeling or looking without your sensory experience. Reporting stories really brings together many different aspects to make a common thread. To do that, the senses have to be used at a high level.
A community is made up of thousands of people who come from so many different walks of life. Stories come from these people having a common interest or shared experience. You have to recognize what they all are interested in seeing, smelling, hearing, etc. Everything YOU have gone through and noticed, combined with the community, will surely make one hell of story.
To bring all of that together, there is always one common method of communication that will always be there. That will always be writing. It doesn’t require an Internet connection or WiFi password, no cameras or recorders. All it needs is a pencil, piece of paper, and the content to make up the piece.
You’ll always need it because everything you speak starts out as being written. Anchors and reporters who make it big are always the best writers. Their diction is unparalleled, structure is impeccable. Oratorical prowess starts with a strong ability to write. It all starts before they even stand in front of a camera. I’ve always thought it’s easier to turn a great writer into a good broadcaster simply because they have the hardest aspect of it down.
So when you’re contemplating how to make your story better, always go back to the basics. The simplest form of communication will always be the best.