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What makes a great clip?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by SportsDude, Jun 19, 2006.

  1. SportsDude

    SportsDude Active Member

    This is an offshoot of the 'No.1 clip' thread.

    What makes a great clip? What makes a story stand out from others? Do you go from a pure writing standpoint or look for stories with emotional pull?
  2. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    Honestly...a good lead. (Or lede if you prefer). An excellent turn of phrase really helps. It says that, even if the story is thin - and God knows those late-night, on-spot files can be - the reader will be sold in those first few sentences/paragraphs. Something that makes them chuckle, or say "yep," or say "hmph" or, in some cases, "oh, horseshit." That tweaks an editor's knowledge of the craft and their recognition that people will read your story.

    You'll hear other things from other people. God knows some 27-year-old out there just wrote the prettiest fuckin 96-inch feature you ever read replete with arias, interludes and a lyrical denouement that I could gut in half and lose virtuallly nothing, just like filmmakers today need damn near three hours to tell a superhero story that a comic book accomplishes in book worth of frames.
  3. 85bears

    85bears Member

    Maybe this is too simplistic, but: When someone in the story didn't want the story written. If there are one or more "declined comments" in the piece, you were probably onto something.
  4. tonysoprano

    tonysoprano Member

    Something you couldn't find in any other paper, something that was brilliantly written and reported (concise, but colorful), and something that deals with a kick-ass subject.
  5. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    A job offer.
  6. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

  7. awriter

    awriter Active Member

    You just know.
    You broke news. You got great quotes. You had a great feature angle. You gave an enterprise project the time it deserved. You had great access. You tackled an issue that hadn't been addressed or put a different spin on it.
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