Imagine the Internet

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On page 166 of Clark's and Scanlan's book about three paragraphs down, I realized that all this information that Gorney found/reported in the 90s could be found on the internet and today a reader may just think that she lazily googled these answers.

 

"...have to know five times as much as you're ever going to use in the story," said Gorney on page 167.

This was mentioned elsewhere during class and I just noted in the book how written reports seem to vary so much from newsbroadcasters/anchors who seem to have no clue or just know what they are given.

 

I also noted on pg 170 (and probably elsewhere) that Gorney doesn't use "said" and instead uses "deadpanned," "calls," and "says"...

She won the ASNE award. So then, can we use these words? Is our work lacking potential because we are bland?

OSR

5 Comments

Derek Tickle said:

The more different a news reporter can be from another reporter, then the better it is? or no?

I think that the more information a reporter has, then the more they can talk about if time demands. On the other hand, if they do not use that information in their broadcast, then they can save it for the next event or for a slow news day.

It is simple news words, like "said" that make a story different. If someone used the word "calls," then the viewer/reader could interpret that as someone called on the phone or called them on the street as they were walking to the neighbor’s house.

Very interesting question you presented!

I also noticed how Gorney used more descriptive words to portray her subject speaking. It kind of reflects the English essay vs. News Story handout, which tells us to use descriptive action verbs instead of using a lot of unnecessary words to get the point across. I think with profile pieces like this, it's probably okay to use words that describe the interviewee's personality more; that's actually the whole focus of the story. When you're reporting quotes from politicians and important people, it's probably riskier to use words like "snarled" or "shouted" or "whispered" because the point with serious news stories is more just to convey the facts that the personalities of the people involved. If this were an article about Dr. Seuss being sued, and they're reporting an official statement from him, they probably wouldn't have gotten so colorful with the vocabulary.

Jessie Krehlik said:

As I was reading Gorney's profile of Seuss, I didn't even pay attention to her use of words other than "said." I was too captivated by the funny little anecdotes she included. My only thought is that maybe we can just be more open-minded when it comes to features rather than news articles. I know that this article is more of a blend of the two, but because she was writing the whole article in a style which mimicked Seuss every once in a while, perhaps that gave her the creative license to use words other than "said" or "commented."

Aja Hannah said:

So in profiles of people or a kind of expose' of their analysis (except politial figures) we can use words other than "said".

Jessie, I was also capitvated by these points. It wasn't until I got to "deadpanned" that I remembered I was reading an article and that was contrary to the journalism style I'd been taught. I would also like to bend these style rules. Perhaps more people would read the Setonian.

Derek, I'm not saying they need to gather more information on TV than they need (who is really going to be able to comment/catch that anyway), but the acutaly presenters/anchors seem to know very little about the subject aside from reading and editing their script or clips.

Maybe TV news could take more time or present more stories in depth, collecting all of that information rather than clumping it all together. They have their own channel after all.

A feature writer has more leeway.

A hard news story should prefer "said," or for variety when paraphrasing, "according to". Somebody might "ask" a question, or "reply" with an answer, and it's certainly appropriate, if let's say a politician makes a joke at a press conference, to say "deadpanned" or "joked" in order to make sure your readers won't misunderstand.

So, if you have a good reason to use a word other than "said" in a news report, you'll just have to convince your editor your version isn't misleading or editorialzing (like saying Hillary Clinton "shrieked" or Dick Cheney "droned").

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