Sunday, May 23, 2004

News Is News Is News

As journalists, we're predisposed to overthink. The reporters wonder what the source didn't say. The copy editors wonder what the writers really meant. We ponder and analyze, cogitate and mull, until someone above us waves the deadline flag.

But sometimes, news is news. For reporters, this means that every story doesn't demand an in-depth narrative approach. Sometimes, we just want to know what happened. It's not hard. Tell us. Let it be. (To quote one of those Beatle fellows.)

For copy editors, this means that every headline and caption doesn't need to be a masterpiece. All art heads needn't contain vibrant word play. Sometimes, just telling the reader what's going on is enough.

We beat ourselves up over the "art" of newspapering when 99 percent of newspapering isn't art. It's news. It's communication.

Let's do that first.