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Trump’s Insults Yield Storytelling Lesson

Posted on the 04 February 2016 by Themarioblog @garciainteract
Trump’s insults yield storytelling lessonTrump’s insults yield storytelling lesson
Trump insults story: the online version
Trump’s insults yield storytelling lessonTrump’s insults yield storytelling lesson Trump’s insults yield storytelling lessonTrump’s insults yield storytelling lesson Trump’s insults yield storytelling lessonTrump’s insults yield storytelling lesson
Trump insults piece: print version above; notice close ups of bubbles that relate to names in the text.

It probably began with an editor (or perhaps a reporter) who proposed a story on the encyclopedia of Donald Trump insults.  Then, after a bit of a discussion, an editor decided that it would make good copy to tabulate all of that information and put it together.

For me, it is a great journalism lesson. I plan to show it to my class at Columbia this week, too.  It shows us that there are many ways to tell a story, and that not all of them must begin with a lead paragraph.

The Times' story opens with a good, tongue in cheek headline that reads Donald Trump’s Twitter Insults: The Complete List (So Far). It is followed by a summary paragraph to set the stage:

In the seven months since declaring his candidacy for president, Donald Trump has used Twitter to lob insults at presidential candidates, journalists, news organizations, nations, a Neil Young song and even a lectern in the Oval Office. We know this because we’ve read, tagged and quoted them all. Below, a directory of sorts, with links to the original tweets. Insults within the last two weeks are highlighted. 

After that, it is an easy to navigate list that includes the name of the person (or institution) insulted, then the quoted insults:

Megyn Kelly

FOX NEWS ANCHOR

“really bombed tonight”“highly overrated”“lightweight”“should take another eleven day 'unscheduled' vacation”.........

I also thought that the print version of the story rated high in the area of advancing storytelling beyond the traditional journalistic tools. I have use an illustration here so you can see how much fun the editor and art director had here, turning the print story into a sort of informational graphic based on words.

Not only has the Times taken a detour from the  traditional 5W lead paragraph here, but it has shown us that even political story can be fun if handled creatively.

Good job, Times.

TheMarioBlog post #2090
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