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Kudos to Patrick Hruby, ESPN.com...

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by OnTheRiver, Nov 18, 2009.

  1. FuturaBold

    FuturaBold Member

    this was very, very well-written. What hurts is a very poorly written column full of first person ...
  2. First-person is fine. It can be a tremendously effective device in long-form feature writing. Usage has nothing to do with the writer's ego. Nothing.
  3. bob

    bob Member

    I generally don't like too much first person--it was always a knock on Mitch Albom--but in this case I thought it was uniquely effective.
  4. amraeder

    amraeder Well-Known Member

    Instead of "told the report" you could just say "said".

    Not that I'm taking a stance on the I issue one way or another. Generally, I don't like it. But this was such a fantastic story, I don't really care.

    The first two graphs didn't do a lot to hook me, but for some reason, this line was enough to get me to keep reading (and, again, boy am I damn glad I did).

  5. Nope. Then it's not a narrative any more with the writer bringing the reader into the thick of it. It's just another formulaic newspaper-style feature - quote-lead in-quote-lead in, rinse, repeat, in finitum.
  6. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    It's just a narration issue. Change the "I" to "you" and the reader becomes part of the story. The reader sees the story through the reporter's eyes, instead of hearing it through his mouth.
  7. amraeder

    amraeder Well-Known Member

    In that line, I don't see the problem changing it to said (not saying I see a problem with how it was, either. Just don't think it was a good line to demonstrait the point). Doesn't make it seem any more formulaic to me. Now, if you want an example where I wouldn't want to take the I out at all, you only have to look a paragraph up

    The "I shake it and feel cold." THAT'S much more of a keeper. (And changing told me to said in the line below doesn't make it lose any of it's impact, IMO, but it would also be a change just for the sake of changing things).
  8. amraeder

    amraeder Well-Known Member

    Interesting point. Should have thought about "you" and didn't even consider it, I'm embarrassed to admit.

    This is a really edifying workshop discussion. Thanks, guys. (And, again, thanks for a great read, Patrick)
  9. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    Loved the piece, but will just say I HATE the use of "you." I didn't do any of these things. You did. If you're going to tell me I feel cold when I shake someone's hand, I'd damn well better have done it.

    I'm not crazy on first person columns, but in long-form narratives it bothers me little.
  10. Small Town Guy

    Small Town Guy Well-Known Member

    I do admit to being a fan of you. And of you, IJAG.
  11. FuturaBold

    FuturaBold Member

    at least the topic here is a discussion on actual journalism and writing, and not about layoffs, furloughs, etc.
  12. SoCalScribe

    SoCalScribe Member

    Quite lengthy and I'm tired, but I did get through it. I enjoyed it and think it points at some interesting issues faced by ordinary Americans who come from poor nations.

    The first person might have been excessive but I appreciate that he was torn about how to handle this story. I enjoyed that aspect.
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