Brooks Barnes, a correspondent who writes about Hollywood in The Times, explains how his writing process alters based on the kind of story that he is writing.
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Brooks Barnes’s head can be seen in a pivot.
As a correspondent for the United States, covering the top Hollywood stars, executives, and companies in The New York Times, the reporter writes daily news pieces on media firms and lengthy stories on topics such as Walt Disney World’s animated robot team and Polo Lounge. Polo Lounge is a famous Hollywood spot that draws celebrities from Hollywood’s film business.
The two kinds of articles, such as news and features, are the yin and Yang of journalism. The name implies that news articles offer readers news and information about events of the day that are happening, usually in their development. They may cover almost all subjects but are generally about 500-1000 words in length and contain essential information regarding the current situation. They do not have to be tied to a specific occasion, delve into a particular subject or subject, are generally longer than news stories, and usually provide more detailed background information on their issues.
Each day The Times publishes both. Many journalists are specialized in the writing of feature or news pieces. The writer Barnes is a different kind of journalist. Barnes flips between the two.
“I am working on eight to 10 projects in the process of being completed at any given moment,” Mr. Barnes stated, noting that he’s frequently forced to put aside the project he’s working on to follow the news and concentrates on writing feature stories when information isn’t flowing. He can generally finish the news story within a few hours or less. A significant feature may take upwards of six months.
According to the writer, Mr. Barnes, the main distinction between a news story and a feature isn’t in the number of words, interviews, or the time he takes to create the piece. “The editing process is different,” Mr. Barnes exclaims.
An article in the news gathers the necessary information and then publishes it quickly.
He begins writing the news story by calling sources, usually contacts that he’s accumulated over more than 20 years of journalism. He writes down the most critical issues before reaching the head, even with a deadline, and knows that the conversation can only last a few minutes.
In the case of a feature for a feature, the. Barnes said he would interview around ten people, not all of which will be included in the final piece. If you’re writing a profile, he intends to spend some time with the subject on a weekend or a Friday in a time when the issue is more relaxed and friendly.
Like the news, he prepares the questions he’ll be asking in advance; however, he avoids conducting too much study before meeting the person first for the first time so that he doesn’t go into the interview with a notion of what the person could do be saying.
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“You are reporting not interrogating the thumb of your hand,” He said.
Starting to Write
Mr. Barnes never outlines his features or news stories, and instead, he writes from notes that is what he will refer to while writing.
He collects all of the notes he has taken from his interviews and studies written in handwriting and typed and enters the top information, quotes, and facts into the Microsoft Word document. Contrary to news articles, an article may require multiple attempts to craft an engaging initial few sentences, also known as the lede and editing. “I’ve had the habit of dwelling on a lede much longer than I need to,” he said.
A news story is more simple than a feature in terms of structure. In a news article, the most crucial and pertinent information is provided within the first few sentences, and the rest of the data is generally presented in priority. In a feature contrast, the author often is slow to reveal certain information to create tension.
The Voice is announcing the landing. Voice
Another different distinction is one of the differences. Barnes said is the Voice he inserts or doesn’t an article. The news story is typical without personal flair; however, a feature could be filled with it. He admits that he has tried to “self-censor” his Voice when writing the news report. There’s the potential for more poetic descriptions of the writer in an article. Barnes can examine how an individual dress, speaks and responds when asked questions.
Working on Edits
Editing processes can also be different. When it comes to features, it could require a lot of fine-tuning. Ledes could be eliminated, and paragraphs may be rewritten. When writing a news piece, editors function more as a security net than a pruner and polisher, making sure that reporters on deadline don’t not ignoring important information or relevant questions and don’t make apparent errors in factual accuracy.
The Benefits of Both Forms
The most challenging part of creating a news story, according to Mr. Barnes’s view, ‘s achieving speed and accuracy within a short deadline. Features present a different puzzle: A writer must carefully condense hours of interviews and research into a gripping-yet-accurate narrative that doesn’t get bogged down with extra information.
While it’s true that Mr. Barnes says he enjoys both of them, he’s always been a distinct fan of them.
“I’m an editor for feature stories who’s managed to never lose his job as an executive reporter for twenty decades,” He said.
He continued: “I like luxuriating over words and experimenting with different things. I could play with the story for hours.”
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