What I learned from this issue, and this year…

By Carl Barrett

This year I learned that writing as a journalist is different than any kind of writing I have done before. I figured because I had mostly written prose, that journalism would be something easily done, but I was very mistaken. I learned that AP Style was a guide line that many journalists use, it helps keep things well structured and readable as well as ensuring page space is saved and ink isn’t wasted. Writing “tight” is not a strong suit of mine, I tend to be very verbose and use long words. I learned that to save space and to more easily captivate readers, journalists must write concisely and in a way that is easy to read. I learned that staying within the restrictions of journalistic writing is almost likely poetry. It’s much harder than it looks, saying what you have to say within certain guidelines! I learned that being a journalist isn’t just writing, it’s also finding stories to tell, and telling them in a truthful way. I learned that journalists spend just as much time chasing sources and looking up information as they do writing. It might take a week to get everything needed to create a story it takes 30 minutes to actually write! I learned that sometimes a source has to be asked 20 questions to get one good quote, and that sometimes people give you great quotes when you aren’t even asking questions! Most importantly, I learned that I enjoy doing this and I think with a little more practice I just might be able to!

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