Journalism training URN Blog

URN News Digest Vol 15: – Writing News ain’t a Game of Assembling Words

Please log in or register to do it.

I have been feeling a little odd lately, kind of an out of sync feeling that engrosses an editor with high expectations. I don’t like the out of sync feeling, but here I am waiting and waiting. Waiting for what? A great story, maybe a compelling story steaming onto the site, an energetic story …
Then I realize that the future of editors is unwritten!
What story I am going to stumble upon this minute or in the next two hours, days, months and perhaps the next two years? The unknown future is even puzzling for an editor who has to face the same writers day in day out, yet the writing style is very predictable.
Sometimes you come across such a beautifully written story, a well told event, a piece painted by both artistry and great story writing skill. But that’s not a sure path to a great editor’s future.
What about when the person writing a story decides to assemble words in a jumbled up alphabet. I dread such days yet they seem to peek through the editors world every second, minute, hour, days months and as long as you decide to remain an editor there is sure going to be a story that not only pulls your leg but digs deep to the hair follicles leaving such a painful scar.
Most often these are stories that make you wonder whether the editor is worth that chair or is simply treated as a garbage bin. The following story was sent in this week from one of our freelance writers.
“The husband of Janet Mubanginzi has been forced by the domestic violence to sleep on the bed without mattress, blanket and the bed sheets for seven days, the children have said. Michael Mwekwasize 20 years old the elder son of Josephat Mubanginzi [54] and Janet Mubanginzi[50] says since the time he grew up has hard his mother complaining of small things in the family and always putting a figure on the father.

He said in their village of Katokye-Kyanamira-Maziba-Kabale district the neighbors are aware of their mother as a lady who everyday must have petty excuses to abuse the father.
MichaelMwekwasize explains that there are four children in born to their parents two girls and two boys and all at school but living in an atmosphere of the parents who are always complaining of small things which should be avoided.

Michael Mwekwasizesaid that seven days ago their mother came back home late in the evening and when father asked why she was coming late in the evening while the super is not prepared she started up in the high gear pouring abusive words to the father.
The quarreling of the mother was too much that the father opted to keep quiet until the mother decided to remove the mattres, bedsheets, blankets and the mat spreading them on the floor and asked our father to sleep on the bear bed.

The father was not bothered by the decision of the mother and slept on the bed without any bedding for seven full days when the mother felt guilty and with her mind decided again to return back the beddings and our father and mother are sleeping on their usual bed under one roof.
Michael Mwekwasize told this reporter that parents many times are giving bad example to children saying that what they have experienced at home with their parents does not give God glory and honor to his people.

Kabale district community development officer Moline Akankwasa said that a case like this one in families is not unique in Kabale district. She said that many men in Kabale do suffer many hardships caused by the women in families.
MolineAkankwasa revealed that most women do stave their husbands without cooking food, the mishandling of family funds, taking a long time in roving around families and kicking away men from beds with no appeal.

She admits that there is no single home in Kabale district without problems ranging from poverty, lack of employment and inadequate food in the family. She appeals to all families to endeavour always to work hard and to be focused on planning for their families for food , income and clothes.
Thoughts for reflection:

What Kills This story?

•The writers simply assembles words on parade, ready for the editors

•Great writtng cares about diction, the choice of words and the way they
appear in a story.

How would have this story been better told?

•Aim for great syntax.

•Look for an exciting plot and action.
•Engage the reader, tell them something they have not heard in years,
tickle their ears, stir debate, take them to where they have not been, tickle
their senses and give them a good laugh.
•Rewrite the story to tighten the weak bolts and nuts in the first daft.
How can we make our writng better?
•Putting words together to inform, touch, move and entertain the reader.
•Description,  Empathy, emotions, and great nose for news.
•Ask…Why should they care about my story?
•Self edt before you send the push button.

Quote of the Day
An Editorial decision is intended to make not break the writer…

National Perspective Vol.020: The Cost of the New School Term (audio 30mins)
National Perspective Vol.020: The Cost of the New School Term (program summary)


Already reacted for this post.