“The principles Do not add and Do not deceive should apply to all nonfiction all the time, not just to the text of newspaper stories. Adding color to a black-and-white photo, unless the technique is obvious or labeled, is a deception,” says Roy Peter Clark at the beginning of the reading. This analogy between words and photographs summarized the entire reading without question.
As a journalist, our duty is to be a gatekeepers for the truth. People rely on us to provide credible information that they can take with them throughout their day. In feature writing, it can be difficult to stick to being accurate when writing a compelling story. The use of adjectives or painting a vivid setting may tempt those into falling along the lines of JK Rowling or Stephanie Meyer…but this isn’t Hogwarts and vampires don’t attend this University.
As a broadcast journalist, I’ve always been told that if there aren’t any valid sources to support any claims in my story, the story simply DOESN’T EXIST. Journalism involves a heavy grasp on reality no matter how creative the story may be. I have to constantly remind myself that there is a huge difference between feature writing and CREATIVE writing.
As much as you want to attract the reader to your story with massive suspense and attention to detail, you want to make sure it’s accurate or else you’ll be looked at as an unreliable journalist who should probably look into becoming a novelist. The reading also mentions a very important element of journalism we should all be aware of – FACT CHECKING. Nothing’s worse than reporting/writing a story and being caught red-handed with an article full of lies. Make sure you always double check… or else the reader will.