On Listening

My late mother was the greatest listener of all time. She had a special talent for honestly receiving the opinions and feelings of others that made her beloved by nearly everyone.

And her gift of that has been one of my greatest career assets.

As a journalist, most of my best stories began with listening to someone who had been silenced, dismissed or discounted by others. Great storytelling begins with opening your mind to the unfamiliar or uncomfortable and striving to connect with the shared truth it reveals.

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News Needs a Human Element

NPR recently ran a story pitting one of its reporters against a computer programmed to write a news story. http://www.npr.org/sections/money/2015/05/20/406484294/an-npr-reporter-raced-a-machine-to-write-a-news-story-who-won

The computer wrote its story faster, but the result was an utterly bland recitation of facts.  NPR reporter Scott Horsley’s story had sparkle and context. As a discerning reader, I know which of the two I prefer.

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