What’s Important and What Isn’t

via bp.blogspot.com

via bp.blogspot.com

You cannot cover every story that comes your way. You can try to, but it’s not realistic. You’ll burn yourself out before you even get close.

As reporters, we choose what to cover and how to cover it. That’s our responsibility. We hold that “power” and we have to do the best job we can.

It’s not easy. Trust me. I want to cover everything, but I know I can’t. I don’t have enough space in the paper and, to be honest, a lot of the things I want to write wouldn’t even make it into the Chronicle.

As a test, I ask my editor about stories that I’m on the fence about. If it’s worth a brief, story or feature he will let me know. And Mike won’t be shy about it either. For some things, I just like to get his opinion because he knows better than me and I don’t want to be wasting my time on something if he won’t run it.

As reporters, we also have the responsibility to choose the best people to be quoted in these stories. I think people tend to forget about that.

Telling a story is one thing, but calling the right people to tell it is another thing. It’s an art and I think it really goes unnoticed. It’s a balancing act and a dance to make sure each story is presented as it should—fair and balanced.

News judgement, as anyone knows, isn’t what it used to be.

We all see and read the fluff that is out there. It’s no secret that it sells papers or gets page views.

Even still, it’s refreshing to see the “tough” news stories in papers today. The ones that took that much more effort and editing to really stand out on a page.

In the end, we all have our own agendas, whether we want to admit it or not. We write what we want to write.

Don’t believe me? Go through a reporter’s clips and see what they are really covering—or not covering.

Jonathan

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