Top 5 quotes from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch panel

MC Staed

Today, Media Now STL was honored with the presences of the team members behind the striking photos and powerful words of the articles detailing the shooting of Mike Brown and the riots following it — the writers of the Saint Louis Post Dispatch. The panel spoke on such topics as meeting deadlines, organizing stories under great pressure, dealing with last minute breaking news, online harassment, and much more.

A few excerpts from the panel interview really struck me as vital information for young, aspiring journalists and writers across the world to understand. Here I have compiled my top 5 quotes of the panel, as well as my thoughts on each quote.

  1. Treat every article like a home page. –Bob Rose, Deputy Editing Manager of the Saint Louis Post Dispatch

This quote really stuck with me for a number of reasons. The main message of this quote is to strive to be the very best you can be, to treat everything you write as important and as though it will be read thoroughly and examined down the last detail.

  1. Social media has got its own life. People see what they want to see. – Robert Cohen, Photojournalist of the Saint Louis Post Dispatch

This quote holds a lot of truth and is a source of frustration for journalist everywhere- someone will always try to twist the story, spread rumors, warp the information, no matter how you present the material.  It is something that cannot be prevented, and the best thing one can do is make sure they deliver the correct information and hope that people use it wisely.

  1. You must verify your information, because you’re the professional. You can’t post un-sourced pictures or information. – Carlos Ayula, Page Designer for the Saint Louis Post Dispatch

This is an especially important excerpt.  Though it is tempting to see a post with “breaking news” or “new information” and immediately want to include it in your article, you must ALWAYS find the source for the information, or else the information could be absolutely false.

4. A rumor will spread faster on social media than the truth will. –Beth O’Malley, Online Content Coordinator for the St. Louis Post Dispatch

This is especially true in situations such as the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson.  Everyone is clamoring for new information, and any new information is unquestioned and latched onto.  It becomes a long game of telephone; the person who you got your information from could’ve completely changed what the source said.

5. I write what’s in front of me. That’s all I can do. – Steve Giegerich, General Assignment Reporter of the St. Louis Post Dispatch

This is the final and most important quote for those looking for good journalism and reporting techniques;  you can only write about what’s in front of you.  Losing focus and getting sidetracked can be incredibly detrimental to the success of journalists everywhere, and some of the best advice one can give is to stay on task.