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be entertaining

something i’ve fundamentally thought about media ever since i began seriously thinking about media is that it has to be entertaining. no one is going to listen if it is not entertaining.

when writing a Masters Thesis on Audio Production at Ryerson University i focused on the various ways you can engage an audience to deliver a message, but the first rule i learned is that you have to grab the audience in the first 5 seconds and then keep it entertaining to hold them. being informative, thought-provoking, or even inspiring is extra.

I think people when they start in journalistm are understandably sort of shy about seeing their role as anything other than information gatherer. They’ve seen all those movies and tv dramas about the heroic importance of objectivity for journalists. (“I’m sorry Senator, but I only serve one master and it’s called The Truth. And I’m sorry doll, I love you, I do, but there’s only one thing in this world that’s more important to me than you, and that’s getting the story right. And if I ever changed that about myself, even for you sweetheart, than I wouldn’t be the man you fell in love with in the first place, would I?”) But telling a story is also about entertainment. All the decisions about how to structure the information for the listener basically throw you into show business and the manipulating of feelings, like it or not. It’s really one of the most fun parts of the job.

                                                                        – Ira Glass

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