What makes a good story?
This is a question every journalist would ask.
If a story is “good”, it can be pitched to a media outlet. It has the potential to be published. It has the potential to generate impact upon society. It’s worthy to be published.
But how exactly would an aspiring journalist know what type of stories could appeal to the masses? After all, we write for our audiences.
The are “news values”, a not-so hidden secret of journalists practising their craft in English-speaking countries.
As an aspiring journalist, however, I believe news in this day and age does not accurately depict or reflect the state of society as a whole and rather displays the extremes, what media consumers want – sex, drugs, violence and animals (yes, puppies and cats).
Brandon Stanton, the man behind Humans of New York (HONY), offers his insight on “The Good Story” and with the same idiosyncratic style as the photographs in his highly successful blog – simple, raw and real.
Street photography is his expertise but extracting personal information from strangers is a truly powerful gift. Brandon’s story is just as inspirational as every picture. You can read about it here.
As a person fascinated by the everyday human experience, HONY is heaven on earth. It offers a slice of life, exhibiting nuances of raw emotion. Journalists don’t report about the ordinary and instead the bizarre. But really, what HONY captures is a breath of fresh air. Through HONY’s lens, the everyday is anything but mundane. If only we could all see the world through his lens.
After all, when a guy takes a photograph of a stranger living their life in their own little space on earth and somehow obtain quotable quotes then makes you feel good to be a part of the human race… that’s something rare and one of a kind, isn’t? That’s probably a good story.