Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Lillian Ross: Rules of Reporting

By Faye Forman

I enjoyed Lillian Ross’s “writer’s rules of reporting,” as her insight could certainly be helpful to a prospective journalist. Ross opens the article by emphasizing the importance of being “chemically involved in a story,” stating that a journalist should never act as if they are not present. She signifies her writing technique with a few personal, fundamental tips.

Some of my favorites are: write as though you are creating a short story (beginning, middle, end), and journalists should never arbitrarily add their own opinions and feelings, but rather incorporate quotations and evidence that represent them. I appreciate Ross’s adamant guidelines, as she is fully aware of her writing style, emphasizing what works best for her. Next she bullet points her essential guidelines when writing. Ross’s obligation to the people she writes about is extremely noble, as she explains no matter how indiscreet a person is, she always uses her own judgment when writing about them. I think that’s important, especially during a time where negative publicity is rampant in tabloids and television.

I also appreciate Ross’s selectivity when it comes to who or what she writes about. Ross only writes about what interests her, but unfortunately that option isn’t always accessible to novice writers. What I liked the most about Ross’s article is her authenticity. Her passion for writing and reporting are clear. She states that she will not take on a story for strictly financial reasons, which is commendable, especially in the given economy. Overall, I will definitely take Lillian Ross’s tips into account for future writing (and hopefully journalistic!) endeavors.

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