Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Two Ways of Reporting

By Kiera Farley

Lillian Ross and Ross Markman both are journalists; however, they fit into two separate classifications of reporting. Lillian Ross has been a staff writer for The New Yorker magazine and reports on people, situations, and events that she finds appealing. Ross Markman reports for the Havre Daily News in Montana and focuses on reporting news that meets a tight deadline. These two journalists have vastly different reporting methods and each have specific strategies that fit the needs of their particular approach.

Throughout her years of journalism, Lillian Ross has created her own set of techniques that guide her through all of her newsgathering. Ross has an interesting way of generating her stories. In her memoir, Reporting Back: Notes on Journalism, she explains, “when I write my stories, it feels a bit like creating a short story, but it’s more difficult because I’m working with facts.”

Conforming to Lillian Ross’s ideas, this type of reporting is a lot more than merely getting the information and putting it into words; it’s more of taking this reported information, visualizing the scenes and stitching them together to create a story.  Ross instills a lot of heart and effort into all of her pieces, she forms a friendship with the person she is reporting, giving them the comfort to open up to her and trust in her to present them genuinely.

In the article “Real Reporter: Ross Markman” in Newswriting on Deadline, Ross Markman gives many informative tips on municipal reporting. He depicts a variety of approaches that are helpful to a reporter in meeting a tight deadline. Markman believes that you have to determine what is newsworthy in order to get a good amount of information into a report that people find interesting. He explains, “if you are writing on deadline, get background material ahead of time on the issues being discussed.”

This is a good strategy when it comes to municipal reporting, because you will already have the source information of the story arranged so you won’t have to worry about getting it in while working on the remainder of the story. Markman was willing to take on every challenge that came his way. He also has experience in writing up to ten articles a week. Markman emphasizes that work experience benefits a person in attaining a job even more than a degree does. Experience aids you with knowing how to put these particular skills to the test and improve your ability in doing so, which I feel is very important for acquiring a job.

Lillian Ross and Ross Markman do two very different types of journalism and each employ their own techniques that help them with their newsgathering. Through years of experience, they have come up with their own personal steps in achieving their journalism goals successfully. Every person has their individual method that enables them to be efficient in whatever they are doing. Ross and Markman have set out effective guidelines to assist fellow journalists to accomplish their projects.

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