I tried to write an interesting volleyball story last week and fell flat on my face (literally and figuratively: the story involved learning some of the skills of volleyball, which included “extensions,” or rolling on the ground for a dig, which in my case was more of a flop-and-turn-over). My editor suggested that the story tried to convey information in a boring way.
He said, instead, that I had to trick people into learning:
“That’s what Sesame Street does. It takes dull things and presents them in a fun way.”
I’m still mulling over what my Sesame Street might be.
I read this story about a young man asking for a family to adopt him, and I remembered what I like about journalism. There is a reason we tell some of the stories we do, and it’s not just to preserve the democracy or effect widespread social change.
(I also decided that in ten or twenty years I’d like to be in a position to adopt a child like Davion.)
We did an interviewing activity in reporting class last week, learning to be better listeners. We took turns asking guest Chris Shipley questions, building off of her answers to come up with new questions.
I left class inspired to be a better listener. And this song played in my head for the rest of the day.