Today we're stepping into a high school Journalism 101 class. The students (and I'm sure you) adequately understand journalism. You get the facts by tracking down the five Ws - what, where, why, when, and who - and report them. Ready?
The assignment is to write the lead of a newspaper story. The teacher begins, "Kenneth L. Peters, the principal of Beverly Hills High School, announced today that the entire high school faculty would travel to Sacramento next Thursday for a colloquium on new teaching methods. The speakers include anthropologist Margaret Mead, college president Dr. Robert Maynard Hutchins, and California governor Edmund 'Pat' Brown."
A few moments later, they were ready with their papers. All answers were as follows: "Governor Pat Brown, Margaret Mead, and Robert Maynard Hutchins will address the Beverly Hills High School faculty Thursday in Sacramento … blah, blah, blah."
The teacher paused for a moment and then said, "The lead to the story is 'There will be no school on Thursday.'"
It was a hard-hitting moment for everyone in that class. They realized journalism wasn't merely reproducing facts but figuring out why they mattered. Thirty years later, a student from that class, Nora Ephron, still remembers this lesson. She started her career as a journalist for the New York Post and Esquire and became a screenwriter for films like When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle, both nominated for Academy Awards.
It can be a crucial lesson for any business. When you're defining the value proposition, identifying the impact you create or what the end-user can gain from your product or service can be a better pitch than simply explaining what you do.
What is the punchline for your business?
What we’re reading
Have you heard of the slogan “Don’t mess with Texas”? Often considered a universal slogan for Texas toughness, it was a product of a beautifully crafted anti-littering campaign.
As fellow tech enthusiasts, we’re sure you’ve heard about the recent trends in AI-made art. Here’s an opinion piece analyzing how AI art isn’t art and why this severs the connection between art and human consciousness.
Well, there are always two sides to every debate, and earth-shattering tech like this brings up some strong views. If you want to see the brighter side of this, here’s an article talking about how AI is an Idiot Savant and how it’s going to make artists of us all.
For the ‘thread’worms
The best thinkers and writers don’t just walk around with perfect ideas in their heads. They build on it and refine it over time. Learn how you can do it too.