Media Interview Training & Consulting

Anatomy of a News Story

Anatomy of a News Story

“Selective editing” seems to be the new “taken out of context”. Either way, sadly, it happens. But you have to be aware that selective editing can take place.

Bottom line is, President Obama, over the weekend, said exactly what Fox News said he said. But what he said is not the point of this post. The point is understanding how the news media puts together a story and chooses quotes and sound bites.

Of course Fox News pulled out particular quotes and soundbites…that’s what the media does! They cannot always print or air the entire speech or interview, so they make judgment calls and they pull out the highlights. Poor judgement in this case? Sure seems like it. But the blame goes in both directions … shame on the speech writer for writing that particular highlight. Shame on Fox for not putting it in proper context.

If Obama leaves just that one line out, Fox has no negative comment to quote. If they include the rest of his comment to help put that isolated comment into context, they don’t find themselves defending their “selective editing.”

Make no mistake – stepping in front of the media is NOT an easy thing to do. Take it lightly and you risk damaging your own reputation as well as the reputation of your company or organization.

Take your responsibility as a professional communicator seriously and you stand less of a chance of being “hung out to dry” by the media.

You can read the entire context of Obama’s comments and decide for yourself who’s in wrong here. My comments are NOT politically motivated, but rather motivated by helping you understand how news stories are contructed. Read more here.

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Rick Brown Communications, LLC
Media Interview Training & Consulting
Baltimore, MD | Washington DC
Phone: 410-971-6947
Website: www.RickBrownCommunications.com
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Email: info@RickBrownCommunications.com

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