Friday, July 27, 2007

From the Mouths of Babes

A story of journalism-comedic gold from my old Cleveland partner in crime Mike Zawacki.

So I'm editing one of my intern’s first assignments and being fresh out of J-school her story had some rough spots.


One in particular was she didn't fully develop her nut graph.


So I'm going over the story with her and I told her, you know you really don't have a nut graph and in magazine writing have a good, strong nut graph is really important. A strong nut graph needs to grab the reader, bring him into the story and give him a reason to want to read the rest of the article. Without a solid nut graph the reader will most likely turn the page and, as a writer, you don't want that. When it comes down to it, the weight of your piece may depend on the strength of your nut graph.


So she says to me that she's really wasn't familiar with that phrase. So I made some snide comment about what Ohio U was teaching its J-students, but admitted that I really hadn't become familiar with the term until I started working for magazines. When you go through the newspaper track it's all about the strength of your lead.


I ended my little speech by saying, " but in magazine writing that one paragraph can make or break your story."


She looked at me funny and then said, "Oh my God, I thought you were saying 'nut grab' not 'nut graph.'"

6 comments:

Mike said...

That's a good story about the nut graf, but your tab cursor was buried inside the cabin. And would it kill you to include a symptom type here or there?

JRN 101.

Suggested dork poll: Does anyone else hate spelling lead "lede" and makes a point of never doing it? We need better jargon. I'm dealing with decks, mindshare, bandwidth and other assorted delights. Journos need to step up.

Send all responses to my basket.

Dr. Hot Crap said...

do not -- under any circumstance -- demand better jargon. when you do, you end up with these acronyms:

> BRRT (pronounced 'Bert')
> AOM
> CBBC or OTM (they're the same goddamn thing)
> HAZU (figure this one out, and you get a taco from the Lincoln Park Pub, courtesy of me)

Steve said...

This is very exciting!

Craig said...

Steve, are you being a knob? Are you?

Are. You. Being. A. Knob?

Solari said...

"Are. You. Being. A. Knob?"

Did you just ask Steve for something illicit? Only question in the bunch is "Knob?"

By the way, not a big fan of the OU journalism program. Have yet to meet anyone as good as they think they are who graduated from that J-school.

Solari said...

Also, it's "lead." Lede is a made-up word that drives me bonkers.