News is News, Or Why the Reporter Will Always Sell a Story

The first man to run a 26-mile marathon was a messenger sent to report the news of the battle. Exhausted, he dropped dead after he reported the news.

Not all reporting is quite that injurious to your health.

Pheidippides, a messenger from the Battle of Marathon, ran 26 miles to warn the city of Athens of an impending sea attack. After a day of fighting and the long run his physical resources expired.

There are people who question the historical veracity of the story. They even say his name was really Philippides, as if it mattered.

It has the reality of a good story well told. It’s what storytelling is about. The triumph of man over self.

News reporting follows the same lines. The reporter finds a wrong that has been done and reports it so others may resolve matters; while the reporter sallies forth in search of more wrongs to right.

Or, good news is reported so that all should be happy.

Such good news/bad news is the stuff of creative writing. A story begins with the calm of a summer’s day while in the distance a low thunder rolls. The thunder may be simply a summer phenomenon or it could be the drumming of the hooves of many horsemen come to start a war. For more details please visit these sites:-

How the happy people face this dilemma is story.

If it’s a real happening it will become the history and legend.

News reporting then, assuming there is a reporter on hand to say what has happened, is the first draft of history.

As such, it will be welcomed by an editor anxious to fill pages with fresh content. For stories will always be needed to sell newspapers and periodicals. And it doesn’t have to be a war starting to be news: perish the thought.

People want to read news stories whether they are in a newspaper or on a website or fictionalised happenings between the covers of a novel.

Someone must supply them. Why shouldn’t that be you?

The PR industry exists to tell the story for their clients. You may choose to write for this market. Many fine writers do so with integrity. Or, you may choose to step away from spin and write hard news as you see it, without fear or favour.

If you choose to be a real news reporter, your duty of reportage is to the reader, not the people in the story or the person who may have given you a tip-off.

The more you keep to this personal code, the truer your stories will be. Readers will seek you out for the truth in the news. Editors will ask if you have anything new and how soon could they have it?

Once the story is broken and in the public domain, you may write a deeper and longer account of the events in the form of a non-fiction book.


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