In Journalism, There's Nothing to Zing About
"If you have solid information logically marshaled, the readers will draw their own inferences, without the aid of zingers" (Cappon 55).
Here we can also refer to the rule we were given for comma usage: When in doubt, leave it out. Will the reader be confused by a sentence's meaning if we drop phrases like "of course" or "surprisingly"? When we include such leading terms, betraying our own opinions, we're losing our objectivity. Without even delving too deeply into this issue, I can think of two ways including these "zingers" can go wrong. Perhaps the event or description we are "zinging" will naturally lead the reader to the conclusion we were trying to draw. For example, is it necessary to include the term "tragically" when talking about an accident in which five people died? Probably not. In this case, that would just be wasted space, which, in journalism, is a big no-no. Though, things could go the other way as well. Perhaps the reader doesn't find an event particularly "shocking" yet you've tossed in that word in hopes of generating a certain response. Well, the only response the reader will have to that will be confusing. The last thing we want to do is distract our reader from the heart of our article with unnecessary words.
"Quotes should pull lustily on the oars to help move the story along" (68).
While quotes add authenticity to stories, they're of no use if they're simply in the article for the sake of being in the article. If a quote just restates a fact already mentioned, it's done nothing but waste space and patience. Sometimes quotes can introduce a new fact, and then the reporter can expand in his/her own words after, or vice versa, but, as always, repetition should be avoided. Just as bad as redundant quotes are the random quotes that follow no train of thought. It's important to keep the flow of the article uninterrupted, and include quotations smoothly.