Katherine Reed, our reporting professor and the public safety and health editor at the Missourian, posted two excellent resources on her blog this week. Here are the biggest things I learned from each:
- Read your writing out loud. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard this, but I still almost always forget. I should make a habit of NEVER hitting “send to queue” before I’ve done this.
- Borrow narrative methods from other media. I love creative writing, and especially screenwriting and songwriting. I’m not particularly good at either yet, but it’s exciting to think that I can take things I’ve learned or observed in songs and films and apply them to news stories.
- WRITE SO THE WORDS FIT THE MEANING, NOT VICE VERSA. Don’t be enslaved to a pretty phrase. If it doesn’t mean what you’re trying to convey, chop it.
- Try ending with your voice, not a quote. Just try it.
- Start in the middle.
- Practice listening by spending 3 minutes quiet daily.
- RASA: Receive, Appreciate, Summarize, Ask — I’m convinced that if I can remember these steps, I’ll become a better interviewer.