Ira Glass

Ira Glass’ 4-part storytelling clips on YouTube were great clips to watch for easy tips on how to get better at broadcasting.

Glass takes it to the Basics in which he explains that you need to have depth. You need to have two important parts to storytelling: anecdote and reflection. You need both the sequential story form and then you need to elaborate on the point of the story. He makes a good point on saying that no matter how exciting the story may be it means nothing if there isn’t a point or reflection in it. I agree that many journalists forget to reflect on exciting stories thinking that the story itself is good enough, but in fact the story is nothing if you have nothing to contribute to it.

Finding the story could be harder than producing the story yourself. Glass emphasizes to make sure you “abandon the crap” and I know that I often forget about that. I like to incorporate every single detail whether they’re important or not. It’s better to be straight to the point and to be tough with your story. Most journalists give up easily after their first or second accounts of failure. Glass reminds journalists that are going into broadcast that failure is a part of success. The luckiest broadcasters are those who wait it out and find the most interesting story when they least expect it.

Glass’ perception of good taste is hysterical. He talks about how even though you’re deep into your career like him at eight years, your work still might be crap. As we listened to his radio excerpt on Mexico, he points out that he tries too hard and fades his own personality away by trying to talk like a “radio” person. He says that taste makes it worth it and even though it’s bad now it will get better. I know that I normally get so frustrated if things don’t improve immediately and this is a good reminder to all journalists that you have to start somewhere and from there it can only go up.

I know that I often fell into the common pit of acting like someone I see on television. When I had to record myself in an interview I tried to sound different and as Glass said before it takes away your own personality. Journalists should be unique in their own way to stand out to have their own personality and I know that I need to keep that in check.


One response to this post.

  1. Very good reaction piece, with links to the sections under discussion — nicely done!


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