Strike up the band as the ship goes down

What do you notice?

Yes, I am wearing my glasses instead of contacts today. Thanks. What else?

As I drove back into Columbia last night, I saw a group of kids playing basketball under the lights at a local park. My mind gently washed over the idea that there might be an interesting story there.

It was an “aha” moment.

I’ve driven past that playground dozens of times, but this particular evening, I noticed what I noticed.

It’s the topic of a fantastic piece from the AJR 2008.

As Lon Wagner, a reporter from the Virginian Pilot, says: It’s our job to be there, wherever there is, because other people have to work. 

Companies pay us to leave the office, find fascinating stories and turn those stories into words that flow and compel. It’s a tough job — really — but we have the opportunity to do it each day.

Regarding the oft-cited state of our industry, The Plain Dealer‘s Regina Brett says, “We’ve got the best seat on the Titanic.”

Strike up the band.

Notable notices:

• Perhaps you noticed the increased severe weather frequency. Move to Alaska. This strikes me as one of those moments I’ve noticed but didn’t really notice: the rise of the weather forecaster.

• A wonderful, common, everyday ordinary bit and exactly the type of article I want to write and master.

• Plenty of people have noticed language, but have they articulated it so illustratively?

• How about noticing what isn’t there? Ben Heine captures his imagination in the real world. One of the most creative concepts I’ve seen.

Also, drop the phone and spy the thimbleful of narrative journalism in every situation.
Your cell (irony of constant connection?) might give you access to the swirling fount of online knowledge, but it doesn’t replace a good pair of shoes or an editor.



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