Upon first glance of the chapters, it was clear to me that a good foundation for the basics of journalistic writing was needed before any progress could be made further into the more advanced material. It was refreshing to view all these little details again since I have not studied grammar, media writing, or event coverage in a few months (following my last writing course at Reinhardt).
Chapter three’s purpose in my eyes was to beat the idea into our thick skulls that simplicity, clarity, and conciseness trump all gorgeous wordplay when it comes to journalism. The reader will not care how pretty a piece is if they do not understand the material. As writers, it is our goal to control every little detail we can to maintain the credibility and readability of our work, otherwise risking a significant drop in followers and thus destroying the necessity of our written word under the public eye.
Moving away from the mess of grammar, I could see brighter chapters ahead, delving deeper into the recesses of media writing as opposed to grade-school sentence structure. The most important takeaways from chapters four and eight were the Inverted Pyramid and the importance of the 5Ws and 1H. The Inverted Pyramid is perhaps the most important tool in a journalist’s arsenal; the most valuable information goes first in the story then is supported by lesser important (but equally necessary) details to provide the utmost clarity. I have seen this before in my experience writing, and when one is engaged in their beat or is covering an important event, structuring the facts in this order AND answering “who, what, when, where, why, and how” accordingly helps the writer formulate a great story that is easily readable and will more than likely be consumed by many, as opposed to few if the former rules are not adhered to.
These few foundational chapters engaged my understanding of the surface of journalism and ensure further success for more technical work as long as each base topic is remembered well.