Good Quotes Can Win Awards

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From “Profile Article of Delancey Street’s Director, Dr. Mimi Silbert" by Halle Stockton:

“’She’s like an angel.  She does it because it’s truly in her heart.  She could be anywhere in the world…but Mimi chooses to live here with us, be here with us and teach us,” Munoz said.  “I want to be just like her.’”

This quote gives support to the reason why quotes are needed in a work.  In fact, I would venture to say that this woman won based on her ability to obtain awesome quotes (not to say that her writing isn't good).  I suspect steroids were given to the interviewees because in my high school newspaper days the only quotes I could get were “It was good” and “I really like football because it is fun.”  These kinds of quotes make for a boring article.  But when you can get people to give quotes with this kind of emotion, you really have something to be proud of.  The journalist has gathered quotes from (as far as I counted) three ex-convicts Mimi’s directly helped and four people who are on the outside, know and have worked with her.  The number and quality of these quotes are fantastic. 

This quote in particular makes me as the reader want to know Mimi.  She seems like a wonderful person who really loves and enjoys helping others, something we should all strive to do just a little more.  Kudos to the writer of this piece on her exemplary writing.

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9 Comments

Jeanine O'Neal said:

Steroids? I think they have such good quotes because they had so much to say about her. She changed their lives.

Josie Rush said:

heh. "It was good." I feel your pain. I edited our paper my senior year, and I'd often have a notebook filled with quotes completely void of not only emotion, but intellect. If you can find enough people who agree with what you're saying, and will *say* they agree with what you're saying, then you'll have a potentially great article.

Jennifer Prex said:

I'd believe it if she did win for the quotes. I agree. They are amazing. Not only did she manage to get a few good quotes, the article is full of them. It's probably much easier to get good quotes when talking to people who have a lot to say. Since these people she talked to are so grateful and have such strong feelings towards the woman being profiled--at least that's the impression I got--it makes sense that they would have a lot to say about her.

Derek Tickle said:

Your got it! While reading the article, I thought how interesting it would be to know Mimi. This lady seems like a wonderful person who is helping as many people in the world as she can. The quotes in the article had so much emotion that I became involved within the piece and "wanted" to keep reading. Wanted is the key word because I didn't feel forced, but relaxed and glad to continue reading.

I agree; the quotes in this were fantastic. I still wonder how she was able to get people to say such wonderful and articulate things about Silbert. Without a doubt, the people she interviewed were probably quite emotional about the impact Silbert's had on their lives, so it was probably easier to get such glowing quotes in this kind of situation than a football game. The cynic in me thinks that Stockton got a lot of quotes that weren't so great, so she made sure to interview a lot of different people so she would have more than she needed. In the end, though the subject of the profile piece sounds very commendable, the writer should also be commended for choosing and arranging the quotes in such a way to really sell the inspirational quality of this woman's story.

"The cynic in me thinks that Stockton got a lot of quotes that weren't so great, so she made sure to interview a lot of different people so she would have more than she needed."

Not cynical at all, Matt. I've spent three hours talking with reporters (by phone, in person, and answering follow-ups by e-mail) and seen maybe 50 of my words appear in the story. When the traditional news media was just discovering the internet around 2002 to 2005, reporters sometimes called me for background information, just so they wouldn't sound stupid asking questions to the people they really wanted to interview. They didn't always even tell me what story they were writing about, they just asked me about media. Sometimes I ended up getting quoted in the story, but more often not.

A couple years ago a documentary film maker flew to SHU in order to interview me for a film about classic computer games. He said that he's willing to spend a whole weekend and travel a thousand miles, and he measures success in sentences. I spoke with him on camera for probably an hour and a half, but he's only going to use a fraction of what I said.

Angela Palumbo said:

Thanks for the comments everyone! Matt, I'm sure you're right that she must have interviewed a lot of people (or she just got really lucky but I doubt it). Jennifer also had a good point that these people had their lives changed so of course they jumped at the chance to make her look good. Dr. Jerz, that's awesome that a documentary film maker flew here to interview you about computer games. What is the best computer game anyway?

My favorite games are god games (like Civilization or SimCity, where you manage resources from a perspective high above the game field), and single-player RPGs (the last one I installed was Oblivion). I also enjoy adventure games that emphasize stories, characters, and puzzles, and the documentary is about text adventure games (word-only games from the late 70s and early 80s).

Greta Carroll said:

Jennifer and Angela, you are right, it probably was easier to get quotes from some of the people because they were so grateful to her. But notice she also interviewed a judge and the public defender. Neither of these people have received direct assistance from this program and they are still singing her praises. Stockton had many good quotes from the specific people that Silbert helped, but she did not stop there, she got these quotes from others who are less intimately involved as well. The only people she seems to have neglected were the prosecuting attorneys.

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Angela Palumbo on Good Quotes Can Win Awards: Thanks for the comments everyo
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Matt Henderson on Good Quotes Can Win Awards: I agree; the quotes in this we
Derek Tickle on Good Quotes Can Win Awards: Your got it! While reading the
Jennifer Prex on Good Quotes Can Win Awards: I'd believe it if she did win
Josie Rush on Good Quotes Can Win Awards: heh. "It was good." I feel you
Jeanine O'Neal on Good Quotes Can Win Awards: Steroids? I think they have su
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