Weird Things You Do When You Report News

Repeat yourself, a lot…I’ve learned that so much of news reporting is finding ways to word 100 words worth of news as 300 words worth of news because SEO is that important to ensuring your news report comes out online ahead of competitors. Here are other random things I’ve learned so far:

People either really want you to use their photos or videos or they don’t. I understand some of this could be their own opinion of the website you’re writing for and once you tell them what it is they may say no (which is totally their right, it’s their photos!) but sometimes they are flat out rude about it and other times they are over the top excited about it.

A lot of writers don’t write the headlines, editors do. I write my own headlines most of the time, so I guess if it’s clickbait-y I have the take the fall for it, but a lot of times when readers call out writers for click bait on social media, it isn’t them, it’s their editor. There have been so many times throughout my writing career where I’ve used a totally reasonable headline for what the article is about and my editor has turned it into clickbait. An editor is the writer’s superior, it’s frustrating but there isn’t much you can do at that point!

You are still expected to report news when you can’t physically get to where the news is happening. This is difficult for so many reasons, and while I would personally be content not taking on the article if I’m not in the right place at the right time, you often don’t have a choice. If you can’t be there to take your own photos, you’re relying on social media (see above) and until you can get an official statement if at all, you may be piecing together the events from social media altogether. Thanks to people sharing photos and videos, it is often possible to confirm information this way, but it makes you much more of a detective than if you could just arrive on the scene.

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