Not Everything We Call a “Story” is a Story
The writer and writing coach Jack Hart has noted that journalists have a habit of calling almost everything we do a story whether or not it has any narrative elements.
A fact is not a story.
Information is not a story.
A place is not a story.
A person is not a story.
An event is not a story.
All of these can be the starting point for finding a story, but you have to do some work to uncover one.
Finding a Story is the Hardest Part
Before you get to the work of shooting and editing and putting your story together, the real work is learning to how to identify and pursue story that is worth your time and the audience’s time.
This doesn’t seem like it would be the case given that many countless pieces of news and media each day in the form of texts, messages, tweets, feeds, blog posts, online article, photos, podcasts, and videos. But in a digital age, information and media are fleeting. We consume them and then quickly move on to the next thing. A truly engaging and memorable story is rare.
As a multimedia storyteller, your goal is to find compelling stories and tell them in the most accurate and vivid way possible. This does not mean the stories have to long or intricate or earth-shaking (although at times they can be all of those things).
The best multimedia stories are engaging, surprising, informative, and provide the audience with an “experience” of being a witness to the events themselves.
This takes time, effort, and often a good bit of luck. The main task is to practice, learn from the experience and keep practicing.
Here is some advice on finding stories from Ira Glass…