Students who put a lot of effort into learning the editing guidelines in the AP Stylebook might benefit from the occasional reminder that good news writing requires the creative use of language, a good idea for detail and the ability to make connections between your readers and the news.
The sources we interview are real people, and we can’t invent details or speculate about what sources think or how they feel. But we do refer to them as characters, and use details about these characters, gathered from our observation and real-time interviews, to drive the story.
While it can be a challenge to make the important news seem interesting to a busy reader whose social media feed is full of cat videos, I try to nurture and celebrate the storytelling potential in any student journalist’s work.
Update, minutes after I first posted this: