Thursday, February 21, 2013

Lillian Ross on Writing

By Toni Ann Buchalski

Reading “Letter from Lillian Ross” has taught me that journalism is not always what it's made out to be. Growing up I felt that all journalists and general members of the workforce held the same attitude toward their jobs. I assumed that most people just pushed themselves daily to succeed in maintaining a career and providing for their families. As I got older, I heard that you had to love your job in order to enjoy it. After reading this handout, I have added more knowledge to enhance my opinion.

In this letter Lillian Ross starts with an anecdote explaining how her techniques were referred to as “fly on the wall” work. Ross didn't agree with this because she had her own beliefs on what would or would not make for a more improved journalist. Her guidelines explain how she succeeded in the world of journalism, and that to be a good reporter one must stick to the simplicity of the story and not include unnecessary information. You have to be willing to respect a person's decision on whether to be written about or not. Respect is not only polite, but it will make for better reporting skills in the future.

Ross further explains that reporting is not just a career but also an obligation. It is an obligation to the public relying on your reporting. Reporting is a career where one must know their boundaries but also be willing to take risks. A reporter must always be prepared in any situation. Newsworthy events occur every day at the most random times and places. Taking careful notes and using your surroundings in a smart style is essential. A reporter must be willing to act efficiently and in a clever manner.

Lillian Ross is an experienced reporter. After reading her letter in regards to the rules for reporting, I feel that I'll be somewhat more prepared if I am to pursue a career in journalism in the future. Not only were her guidelines thoughtful, but in retrospect they were very straightforward and accurate. Most of the topics she referred to in the discussion were things that I didn't always have concern for. As a result, I've learned overall that good reporting takes not only skill but also determination and a desire to succeed in the eyes of the public and yourself.

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