Journalism is more than just writing a few stories every week. Or, at least it is for my peers and me.
If you’re an outsider, like I was a few years ago, you probably think that a journalist does a little research, conducts some interviews and then writes down what the interviewee says and cites some research.
I was wrong. Being a journalist is more than just research and interviews, and my peers at Ball Bearings have proven that more times than I can count.
It starts with one idea – an overheard conversation, a picture or an unseen action – to spark the beginning of many drafts, edits and debates about the best headline.
There are also photos needed to help tell the story. Photographers and writers have endless conversations about how to tell the story visually. These conversations help photographers capture what’s not only interesting, but also entice our readers.
Design is the key to tying all parts of a story together. We could put some text on a blank white page and a photo, or maybe two if you’re lucky, but would you really want read that story?
Instead, our designers read every draft that the writers create and adjust their own drafts accordingly. And trust us, it’s more complicated than a few tweaks and image box movements. Usually more drafts are needed because the story took an unexpected angle, so the design needs dramatic changes.
Stories always start with an initial idea. But by the time it is ready to be published, it has usually been radically changed.
We work hard to make these changes correctly. Does it frustrate every person working on the story? Yes. But the reason we put ourselves through so much stress and sleep deprivation is because we want to make sure that our audience is reading the most interesting and compelling stories told in the best way.
While editing every story, photo, infographic, online story, print and iPad editions that Ball Bearings publish, we work not only as a team, but also as a family to create something we are proud to present.
Now that I am insider and understand the process, being a journalist is more than just a few interviews and research. It’s a part of your life that takes over you and molds you into a new person that begins to see things in ways you would report them.