People complain that the media sensationalise and beat up everything. Stories are too negative. They trash everyone.
I was asked today by someone how I got the idea for one of my stories (which was, perhaps, a bit of a beatup). I explained I just wanted to write something about this particular thing, and that angle came out of the
And yeah, it was printed, although I was told would be better if I’d found someone who said they were rubbish and slammed them. (Which I more or less had, until the source wanted to change their quotes).
Which yes, I feel is unnecesarily harsh and making something out of nothing. I guess we are always trying to seek out extreme opinions, it makes for better reading. Conflict, after all, is one of the big news values.
No doubt i’ll soon be wholly entwined in the working reporter’s mindset, but for now I teeter between both and can see the two sides.
Just as an aside, something I found really interesting…. sometimes you just don’t get the quotes you want, or sometimes you get gems that make a whole new story. In our textbook chapter on interviews, it says interviewing for stories is a bit like cross examination by a lawyer. Good journos know exactly what to ask and they know what the answers will be before they even ask them, so they know what to expect.