A different spin

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Although the first half of this chapter served as a friendly review of journalistic skills, the second half really caught my attention because of its new content.  Starting at the "Writing to Inform, Writing to Engage" section, the chapter's discussion turned from basic reporting to more story-telling type of journalism (features, I guess).  The authors explained how an article can be completely dictated by stories, while having only small interjected sections of background information and "news."  At other times, however, an anecdote can serve to break up a very cut-and-dry article (see Corey’s blog).  I liked how the authors presented both uses of this strategy. 

Also, I thought the chapter's discussion on the role of the reader was new, interesting, and helpful.  As an introduction to this idea, the authors described Louise Rosenblatt's ideas on the role of the writer and the reader: "Reading is a transaction in which each reader brings his or her own biography, experiences, prejudices, knowledge and ignorance to the text.  The writer may create the text, but the reader makes the story." Later in the chapter, the author's apply this sense of the reader's role in their "Thinking Tools" and "Drafting Tools" sections.  For instance, the author suggests that journalists should "envision a general audience," "develop a chronology," and "consider the impact" all when writing complex stories, to both perk reader's interest and help aid their understanding throughout the article.

 

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