November 11, 2005

Creativity in Journalism

Chapters 9 and 10 of The AP Guide to News Writing focused on the use of color in one's writing. Just like every creative writing teacher, this section urged young journalists to "show and not tell."

As a creative writing major, I enjoy colorful writing. I don't, however, believe that it really has a place in journalism. I understand that it makes stories more interesting, but I don't believe that news stories (features excluded) should really try to be interesting. They should report the facts without trying to entertain the reader. If I were the victim of a story, I would not want readers finding enjoyment in my tragedy. The facts should be known, but I honestly don't believe that any embellishment or "color" is ethical.

Perhaps I'm being a little too prudent, but I don't think so.

Posted by JohannaDreyfuss at November 11, 2005 12:13 AM | TrackBack

Very true the news industry should have the purpose to inform, not entertain. I think that color is useful in some situations. Of course you wouldn't make a bright and happy picture of a crime story, but use of dark color can put a reader into the scene of the crime and give a better understanding of the context.

Posted by: Evan at November 11, 2005 01:24 AM

Johanna, you are one hundred percent correct. I am much older than you and can remember when news men and women were more (less) than artificially animated news readers. Because of this perspective and having worked with a major corporation's PAO, I no longer trust television and radio news to report what they know without passing the facts through embellishments that reflect their own biased judgement.

Posted by: Joe at November 16, 2005 02:37 AM
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