Clark and Scanlan conTribute to our learning
From America's Best Newspaper Writing:
"Place a good quote high in the story to create a variety of voices and a human focus" (Clark and Scanlan 292).
This quote I find especially helpful. As a person who wrote for the newspaper in high school, I know that one of the things that I had a hard time with is the incorporation of quotes. I never quite got their purpose for some stories. But now I have finally gotten my answer. Good quotes provide variety and another voice. It makes it seem like you have done your work. You have tried hard to get the best information available and give the reader a good view of the story. Now to find that good quote...
A good example of the clever use of a quote is in "In His Own Hands" that appears on page C5 of Tuesday, August 25, 2009's edition of the Tribune Review. In the third paragraph, Steeler cornerback admits what the article claims about him: that he cannot catch very well. He said, "My personal goal is to catch the ball (this season) and make the Pro Bowl." This angle shows that the author is not just an angry Steeler's fan that wants this man to learn how to catch. He has noticed the excellent playing of this man, however, also points out where he falls short. The fact that the player himself admitted his weakness provides strength to the journalist's article.
A bad example of this concept is seen in "Ghost enthusiasts could experience courtroom terror." The second paragraph says, "'People have been going in there for years thinking they'll see a ghost or something. But it's now owned privately and the family that owns that building no longer wants anyone going there,' said township ordinance officer Terry Giannini." Although this quote does get the point across, it is long and rambling. Instead, it would be better if the author would have maybe taken part of the quotation and then paraphrased the rest. He could have said, "People have been going in there for years thinking they'll see a ghost or something," said township ordinance officer Terry Giannini. He added that the property is now privately owned and the new owners do not want anyone going in there. See the difference?