It may be a story about an organization’s decision, a local issue or a sporting event, but if you do not have the human aspect, you do not have the story.
With council stories, you have to ask yourself ‘how and who does this affect?’ and ‘how will these decisions hit home?’ That is where the true story comes from.
As well, I know that there is the cliché “No I in team”, but when covering sports games, sometimes you need to grab that one person’s thoughts leading up to the big game winning home run if you are talking about baseball for example. As a sports reporter at Durham College and handling sports for The Standard newspaper, I’ve talked to many athletes, some humble and some that like to boast. They are all unique humans with different thought processes. Like Maple Leafs forward Phil Kessel, some are more prone to slumps, while others can find the magic formula to remain calm and produce. Some strategize, and some just react.
Sometimes it is like I am trying to get inside their head. What were you thinking? What were you feeling? What’s next for you?
It reminds me that the people that you look up to, idolize, they are human. The decision makers that affect your lives are also human. They are all faced with similar decisions, temptations and pressures that many of us face.
Not only that, but each person has their own unique story, they are not all cookie cutters based on their jobs. Case in point, some may remember my story on Jasmine Rutschmann. She was the young artist who started her own gallery after being rejected from an established gallery. I have talked to several different artists since writing that story and each and every one has had a unique story, a unique upbringing and different motivations and personality.
I could do 1,000 stories on what seems like the same type of people and never have the same story. It is never boring, because none of these people are ever exactly the same as the others.
As well, each person also has a unique person that inspires them or is their hero. These are the people that they model themselves after and hope to be like. Once you meet or talk to that person, it adds a whole other dimension. I’m getting to know someone through someone else, while also learning more about that person.
That is why I like seeing people out reading the paper, to hear back from people that I have interviewed, or comments from people in the community. In some small way, something I wrote has informed and affected their daily life. Maybe the story has stirred an emotion or just made people think.. In any case, I have been somewhat involved in their unique life.
That has been my goal in journalism. When all is said and done, and I have retired from the position, I hope that people remember the stories that I have done and that I’ve informed and hopefully made a change in people’s lives.
I love telling stories, and I will continue to tell stories for The Standard readers.