I came across an enlightening piece called “Becoming a Storyteller, Not Just a Reporter” (you might need to scroll down to reach the article).
While the entire piece is worth a read, the following advice caught my attention:
Don’t limit your inquiry, or your thinking, to the basics of journalism: Who, what, when, where, why, how. Think in terms of story elements: setting, character, plot, conflict, climax, resolution, dialogue, theme.
This captures the essence of how journalism is striving for a greater entertainment quotient.
I studied journalism at the University of Arizona on the heels of Watergate, which in turn caused a stampede of “Woodstein” wannabes to the country’s J-schools. To prune the glamour seekers, the professors relentlessly preached the who-what-when-where-why-how principle – a bit ironic considering the drama that culminated with the resignation of President Nixon.
Today, this principle frames the article, with the storytelling elements outlined above often shaping the content.
That’s why communicating with only the facts falls short of meeting the needs of today’s media.