Monthly Archives: January 2019

Keaton Benfield: Reading Response #3

I started off by reading Knight’s chapter on “Building the Story” and I enjoyed how he started off by describing his own experience with former president Richard Nixon, how he only only received information that any other reporter could’ve figured out. Knight goes on to talk about the issues that he could have mentioned to the president and how he failed in doing so, telling the reader that this was not how an interview should be conducted.

It was helpful to read about ways to improve an interview and how to obtain more information from other sources if needed in order to fully flesh out the story wanting to be told. Learning about the various techniques that outlets use to write their articles was another interesting thing to take note of here, as well as knowing when to stop describing everything in too much detail.

Filak complements Knight’s chapter very well and it’ll definitely be helpful when we have to begin our own profile assignment. He goes through the process of conducting this type of interview and the importance of secondary sources in order to get a well-rounded perspective on the subject, which I thought was very helpful and I’ll go back to this section when the time comes if I need any assistance.


Reading Response 3

Knight talks a lot in chapter 4 about some key interviewing skills. His story about how he was overwhelmed by the President which led to lackluster question struck home with me. Interviewing is something I’m mist weary about in the Journalism business, but I also understand It can give you the most important information you need. It is all about asking the right questions and responding to their answers with hard hitting follow up questions. I hope I’m able to think of great questions when I do get the chance to interview someone.

Filak also goes into interviewing in chapter 6. He goes into the preparation you will need going into an interview. It makes sense when researching someone to learn as much about them as you can. So if they refer back to something they did earlier in their life you know exactly what they are talking about. You basically need to know the person better then they know themselves.

RR #3: Building the Story, Interviewing

In chapter four I liked how they go into how not to have an interview right off the bat. I liked how the whole first part was based on a big example of how this one reporter was during their interview. I already knew a lot of what was being said but to refresh myself.

The section where it talks about when to stop describing I liked more in this chapter. I liked how they tell you even though it’s written beautifully and with nice wording you can, in the end, sabotage your writing. The section goes into telling you when to stop describing things, nonessentials.

This whole chapter had a lot on what to do in an interview setting as well as how to write without having too many descriptors to where it is unnecessary.

In the interviewing chapter of Filak there are a lot of tips and tricks. It has sections on where the source is one you need and how valuable the story. For me, this chapter was a lot of refreshing on how to interview so most of it I skimmed.

The section I did like was the helpful hints and how it was written almost how you talk to yourself. I am one to overwrite questions and have more then I need and end up not using half the answers to the questions. This section defiantly helped me understand that having precise questions are ok and are more needed.

The purposes for interviews was very interesting to read and see how people take interviews for a lot of reasons I didn’t even know about. I knew about fishing for quotes but provoking a reaction seemed almost unethical. I was always told you want to keep a story as non-biased as possible before getting in regions where it is very skewed.


Chapter 5 focused on how most writing is a lot of fluff and we tend to talk too much to meet word counts. It also discussed journalistic writing and how it focuses on getting straight to the point. With journalistic writing there is a larger emphasis on getting information across as best you can without unnecessary words or phrases.

Chapter 6 talks about active and passive voice, knowing what voice text is written in is rather important to comprehending what you are reading.

Reading Response 2: The Craft of Murky Writing

Writing extensively is something we as students have been taught since elementary school. Word counts and ideas had to be done in specific ways to ensure the reader was informed and entertained by every paragraph, however this leads to a problem in the world of journalism. In this world writers are responsible for conveying information in short columns or big name articles. With space being limited the need to get a point across using concise wording is key to their success. In chapters 5 and 6, Knight teaches to compound sentences while making the most of the short space provided in such articles.

Taking this information to heart can help when writing for the press industry or for online daily columns. The lessons on structure help to also provide a sound foundation for writers to work from. Having too many words can be a problem and Knights’ notes that a dilemma of the English language is that there are numerous words for a writer to use.

I find that the information conveyed by Knight is important and has helped to better understand the way media writing should be done.

RR #2

Between chapters five and six I feel as though chapter five stood out to me more. Chapter six talked more about understanding the relationship between and active voice and action verbs. One sentence that made sense to me from chapter six was “Active voice and action verbs do have one thing in common: They contribute to strong, honest, direct writing”.

Chapter five helped me out a lot. It talked about being able to limit your writing. Take out the unecessary words or sentences that were needed to get a point across. For most students, they understand this as “reaching word count”. Trying to reach a certain word count I believe has severely harmed students writing. Instead of teachers allowing us to get our point across in fewer words. Chapter five taught me that it is okay when writing a paper to use fewer words to tell that story.