Revelation: “The craft, the art, of storytelling” within News Writing
Finally, some clear rules on what to do and what not to do when writing a news article. I think there was a lot of really valuable information crammed into these two chapters (and notice while there was a lot of information, Cappon practiced what he preached, he got straight to the point and concisely and clearly told and showed what his points were). Instead of just one quote, I’m going to be using two, because I just think that Cappon worded things so well that any attempt on my part to reword it would be inefficient.
The first quote I want to highlight is, “Writing is the art of second thought” (5). I think this is important to remember, because journalists do work on strict deadlines. They don’t have weeks to research, write, and review their article. However, it is important for journalists not to use this as an excuse. Yes, they do have deadlines, but they still need to revise their works.
The second quote, I want to emphasize is, “You must write to readers, not at them, in language attuned to their lives and everyday experience—language plain but not dull, terse yet relaxed, standard English that’s correct but neither stilted, nor high-flown. There may be easier ways to make a living, but then, what’s more satisfying than the craft, the art, of storytelling, which is what we do when at our best?” (6) Cappon stresses that it is important to consider the audience, he recommends that we right in simple language that is easily understood in a concise manner. However, even more significant to me in this quote is the label which he gives news writing, “the craft, the art, of storytelling.” I’m not going to deny it, when I write, I like to have a thesis, and I like to argue my side. The persuasion is half the fun to me. When I thought about news writing, I saw it as a void—just facts, no fun. The idea did not exactly inspire me with excitement. However, Cappon’s word choice helps me to look at news writing in a different light. News writing can be a form of storytelling, sure it’s not storytelling in the sense that you can just make something up and say whatever you like, but journalism doesn’t have to absent of creativity and it doesn’t have to be boring. It is telling a story, just like any other form of writing, and it’s up to you to make it appealing within the constraints which are inherent in all types of writing.
Read more on Cappon’s chapter 1 and 2.