By: Amany Radwan Osman
In putting a news story together, news remains news. The six main elements: Who, What, When, Where, Why and How are all asked at once. And need to be answered all at once.
In essence the content of a news story be it print or digital is the same. As a reporter of that story you need to stay true and focused on the six basic questions. Indeed the platforms of news story writing have gone through major transformations in recent years. While the click of a button or a thumb scroll maybe easier for the reader, the context delivery of a professional news reporter has not changed. It must not change.
I am the Who and so Are You
I am the professional story-teller WHO must remain true and honest. I cannot ever forget that no matter the pressure intensity to quickly get the story online or printed. I bear the responsibility of delivering an honest unbiased story to the other WHO, the reader who trusts me.
What is the story and What are you reading?
I need to get this story out there. The reader needs to know what the story is. The real story. The credible story. So I must continuously ask myself What is the story I am writing? I don’t want my reader at any point to wonder what is this crap I am reading. A paper can be as easily turned as a post seizes to be followed.
When, Where, Why, How ….
In any brand of news journalism it is hard to ask one of the above questions without the other. When did this story happen and where did it take place? Why is it a story and why am I compelled to tell my reader about it? How did the story unfold and how will I tell the story? All the questions are asked simultaneously. If a question remains unaddressed then my story is incomplete. The reader turns away from me. Professional credibility is at stake. My presence out there on the venues I aim to reach is threatened. Let alone the job.
Journalism as a brand is volatile. In spite of the nature of the story the writer must remain centred, grounded, clear and objective. A journalist treads a fine line. Reputations and lives are often at stake. A news story when taken out of context can snowball in every conceivable and unconceivable direction. The pressure to meet that darned deadline is continuously there. The omnipresent elephant in the room. Yes I must submit on time, post, print or broadcast, but until I reach that crunch moment I must block that elephant out. Otherwise my conscience will never be clear and the climax of finally getting my story out there will not come to fruition.
Sources used: image: cision.com
research: professional experience.