Yet another Lesson on English vs. Journalism...and it never gets old
This is not my first interaction with the inverted pyramid, nor is it my first interaction with the differences between an English essay and a News story. In fact, I've even seen this chart before, in my EL200 course last semester. I've even blogged about it already--but I'm still going to write a new blog, because that's what I do...I write.
Clear writing packs power.
--English Essay Vs. News Story
To me, the above quotation is one of the most important aspects of news writing. Passive voice--(the use of "of" "have been" and other dull things like that) kills great stories before they even have a chance. Who wants to read "the cat had been waiting for the mouse all day" when they could read "the cat waited for the mouse all day." In News writing, more than anywhere else, less really is more. The objective is to get as much out of your words as possible, because usually, you have a word limit, and as our trusty inverted pyramid shows, if your story runs too long, the end is going to get chopped. And let's face it, no matter how "unimportant" the end of your story might be, its still information that you seemed to feel was important to include in the essay in the first place. When I was the copy editor for my high school's paper, I spent more time rewriting articles to eliminate unnecessary words and statements than I did writing my own stories; however, I feel that all that editing really paid off, because yet again, the inverted pyramid and passive voice elimination are now so deeply engrained in my brain that I'm pretty sure I'll be avoiding the use of them (oops, there's an "of" ...my bad...) for the rest of my career as a writer. Oh, and I'll NEVER use a comma before "and" or "or" in a list again...some habits die hard.