Monday, November 01, 2010

AIJC power reporting conference - Joshua Prager

Some notes:
The Wall Street Journal's Joshua Prager has been blowing our minds for the last hour and half. He's spent the time focusing on four of his stories in his 'writer as sleuth: bringing narrative to investigative journalism' slot.
He's adamant that it's good for people to know the truth. He says the best way to do it is to just tell a story: "And subtlety works...tell it simply.
And remember that understatement always rather than overstatement; don't hit people over the head!"
He also emphasised that authentication is crucial: "I'm obsessive about checking the details! You have to get the facts straight."
"I'm also a big believer in chronology. And define one character for each component of the story, so that they can bring it to life."
Joshua highlighted that when he writes the narrative he thinks about the five senses over and over: "Description! Describe things. Describe what you witnessed."
He said that what guides him is honesty and decency; that's why he believes people should always be given a chance to respond before publication.
While he doesn't want to hurt anyone, he also is adamant to not allow the possible outcry, reaction to the end story hold him back from writing it. "It's good for people to know the truth."
The man, who walks with a cane as the result of a bus accident when he was younger, has got a brilliant, sharp sense of humour. His talk this morning was inspiring and immediately put my future into perspective.

www.joshuaprager.com

3 comments:

Stefelino said...

WOW love this... hope its giving you inspiration ;) and how appropriate this is after November's issue of the paper...

David Waters said...

sounds inspirational ;)

Beautiful Mind said...

It was inspirational! I'm still humming from the experience...
David thanks for always commenting, I appreciate it! My only challenge remains that I mostly blog from my phone so I can hardly ever access the comments...although I can read them!
Happy Tuesday...