Are All News Stories Well Received?

“I couldn’t wait for success… so I went ahead without it.”

— Jonathan Winters

I learned a hard lesson while writing for the newspaper. Words can be twisted, misquoted, misunderstood and not everyone appreciates having their name in the paper. After a long phone interview, I wrote about a rural church—never having seen the location forty miles from my home.

The pastor didn’t appreciate my article about her church. She called me and listed all my faults. She also emailed me. About broke my heart.

The editor, however, thought the article well done.

She didn’t fire me.

Never did anyone threaten a lawsuit.

To my knowledge, none of my stories damaged the newspapers credibility.

Would I do things differently if writing for a small town newspaper again? Probably. Experience is a great teacher. I’d post the following list as a reminder to me:

♥       Remember you are writing a news article. Be honest. Be kind. Be understanding if someone isn’t thrilled with your story.

♥       Remember not everyone is your best friend; you are composing a factual news story about the subject and for the readers.

♥       Remember even when you don’t receive monetary reward for your efforts always write to the best of your ability. Keep the editor happy and readers asking for more.

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