Monday, September 29, 2008

OK, here's Jacqui on story editing

This, to me, is part of the pact between writer and editor on big or small pieces of writing -- anything you deem worthy of more attention than a typical daily story gets. It could be the 300-word narratives we did on the 9/11 anniversary a couple years ago, or a full-blowout enterprise-length narrative.

So even though she's titled this 'story editing,' this is a two-way street. A reporter and editor cannot reach these heights without trusting each other and working together toward the same goals.

Here's Jacqui:

"Story editing:

Engages the idea and the writer, before it engages the copy.

Deals with the soul and structure of a story, before it deals with syntax and style.

Answers the question: What is this story about? And then serves that answer.

Happens before and throughout the reporting/writing process, not after.

Transforms the reporter into a storyteller.

Is a partnership of writer, publication and audience.

Uses all the (verbal, visual and multimedia) storytelling tools available.

Requires line-by-line journalistic discipline and rigor.

Honors the writer's voice.

Thinks always of the reader."