Chapter 1 RR: Simple, Not Simplistic

Keep it simple. That is the main message that I got from this chapter. Journalists are tasked with telling a story, accurately, in as few words as possible. It makes sense that cutting out all unnecessary words and phrases would help journalistic writers meet their deadlines. As a concept, it’s not exactly rocket science, but I can see how we are trained in literature classes to make our writing as wordy and over-done as possible in order to make ourselves sound educated. You don’t need to be wordy to sound informed. Why use 500 words to give information that could be conveyed in 50?

This chapter reminded me of a time I was told that Journalistic writing in like dealing with real estate. You’ve only got so much room to work with. There’s only so much space on a page, and a skillful journalistic writer knows how to best utilize this space to get their point across without too many extra words. Arguably, the most important piece of space to be utilized is the front of the house, because it is the first thing people see. Similarly, the lede is the first little sample of your writing that the audience gets to read. If it doesn’t grab their attention, then the rest of what you’ve written is pointless.


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