Good news reporting on any topic dictates that a writer should not impose his/her personal views on readers. As Bill Moyers once said, “A journalist is basically a chronicler, not an interpreter of events.” Straying from that path puts a reporter on the road to “sensationalist journalism”. To insure that the tenants of good journalism are met, a news article must be written clearly and concisely using simple words.
In the past month I have read articles in the soap rags er mags with an overabundance of “action verbs” . Action verbs imply just that: action. I can’t imagine any situation in an interview where the following action verbs apply:
- Zamprogna winces
- Grahn sighs
Zamprogna winces? Seriously? Really? Besides conjuring up visions of Senor Wences what kind of question would elicit such a strong response on the part of the interviewee? People wince they’re hurt or when they are deflecting something. More appropriate verbs might be: Zamprogna asserts, states, replies, shares… you know, an action that might actually occur during an interview.
Grahn sighs? Come on! People sigh when they’re mourning or yearning over something or expel their last breath. I can’t even remember the last time I sighed. It was probably over a piece of chocolate cake in the grocery store or watching a Youtube video about kittens. But during an interview when you are discussing your next story arc? More appropriate verbs might be: Grahn replies, responds, acknowledges, affirms or stresses.
So Soap rags er I mean mags, stick to the basics and stop pummulting (how’s that for an action verb?) me with these inappropriate action verbs!
Keeping it real!