In chapter three, Filak discusses the importance of grammar. Even if you what you wrote isn’t “what you really meant,” the audience does not know that. If your readers cannot understand what you have written, your have missed the mark as a writer. Active voice is another big topic that Filak touches on. Active voice is much easier to read and keeps the audience more engaged. The 17-23 word sentence section really stuck out to me. they contain one or two key points but are not so long that your audience will be become tiresome. I generally keep my sentences shorter than that, so that is something I definitely need to work on.
In chapter four, Filak talks about the “Killer Be’s.” Be Right, Be Tight, Be Clear, Be Active, Be Smooth and Be Quick. The most crucial thing is to get the reader the important information as quickly, and correctly as possible. While you want to be quick, you do not want to confuse the reader by not having a consistent flow. If your article does not flow, it’s very hard to keep the reader engaged. The inverted pyramid writing style is something that I’ve used over and over again while writing journalistically. Because some only read the beginning of an article, it’s very important to get the most vital information across as soon as you can, while maintaining flow and accuracy of course. Leads are always something I struggle with while writing, so having all the different examples of leads right in front of me was very helpful.
Chapter eight discusses reporting. In our advanced writing and reporting class in the spring, I was able to get some experience with a few of these types of reporting. Feature and Profile stories were some of my favorite, and event reporting is pretty neat, depending on the event you’re covering. Beat reporting is something that I’ve yet to do, but I always enjoy reading beats, mainly sports. Getting to cover the same team, or league, day in and day out would be fascinating. Working with the same group of people would help you build deeper connections in the field that you are covering, as well as improve your knowledge of the way that organization operates.