It's THEIR Story

One of the colorful, cool posters we make available in our ASB Store is the one with the phrase, "It's Their Story."  Sometimes, I think this those three words get lost in the process.

When student reporters ask people to open up to them about some aspect of their lives, something that can be extremely difficult to talk about, it can really be a rush for the young journalist.  They come back talking about all the emotion of the interview, or how the subject was so open and honest.  Those are generally things to indeed be excited about as a reporter.  You want to bring your viewers something strong, something real.

You also want to remember whose story you are telling.  It is certainly not your story.  YOU are not the one who experienced the drama you are covering, whether it is something life-changing or yes, something heartbreaking.  The person you are talking to did experience it, and is willing to talk to you about it.  But it s THEIR story, and it is YOUR privilege to tell it.  Never forget that.

Those three words on the light blue poster should also motivate a young journalist to honor the person who is sharing a piece of their life, by doing the best job possible--shooting, writing, and editing the final piece with care and with dedication.

Yes, it's THEIR story, but it's YOUR responsibility.  Bring it to your audience with fairness, accuracy, and clarity.