Alexander Acosta Osorio

video, photo, blogging and media

Hey! Ask A journalist!!

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Part II

For those interested in communications and journalism learning from the experience of a working professional in the world of journalism is a great way to understand how journalism works and what practices journalists have embraced today to do their  job.

 A few days ago I facebooked Yaldaz Sadakova, a TV and Radio producer at Self-employed. Yaldaz studied Broadcast at Columbia University School of Journalism and currently lives and works in Brussels, Belgium. This is the second instalment of our little Facebook conversation.

 Three DON’Ts when you are telling a story.

 The ones I like to follow:

don’t use terminology, don’t leave the story without background information, and don’t use flabby and convoluted sentences.

The first two rules stem from the basic journalism rule that you should always craft your stories in a way that allows anyone to wanter into them and walk away with an understanding of the issue, no matter what the subject is.

I’m increasingly seeing news stories where you won’t understand fully what exactly is going on unless you have some prior knowledge.

Here’s an extreme example: a few weeks ago, I had to read several stories about European energy. It was a very narrow subject, super specialized – the type of stuff that you would know only if you are a policy maker, analyst or journalist in the field of European energy and the news was that this was being brought to the area of mainstream energy issues.

I didn’t have that prior knowledge, so I was only able to understand these news stories after spending 40 mins – yes, 40! – in Google.

That’s lazy journalism.

Now, imagine the average reader…that person would have abandoned the story after the first graf…and rightly so. Now, I’ve been taught – and I really believe in this – that a complex subject matter is not an excuse for that. Even the most complex thing can be explained in a simple way. Of course, it’s tough and time-consuming. It means that the journalist needs to understand it first.

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Written by Alexander Acosta Osorio

March 21, 2011 at 12:41 pm

One Response

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  1. Howdy blogger, thank you for providing this article.. I found it first-class.

    Damian Mandigo

    April 20, 2011 at 7:18 am


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