Covering this quick write up of an over night fire was my first real crack at doing a brief summarizing report of an event. Working the copy desk has given me the opportunity to read lots of these from Missourian writers before, though, so I had a general understanding of what it should look like. Then, I looked to the handy ‘questions to ask after a fire’ list hanging on the wall, which was also very helpful in steering me towards the info I needed and the structure I could build.
I think the real learning experience was the writing: the language, the diction, the structure, the intention that goes into every word (not that other writing doesn’t have such intentionality). There’s a specific jargon that has to be used with police and fire reporting, which is different than other stuff I’ve worked on, where the word choice is much more focused on being as a clear as possible for the reader. It was, for how short the piece was, certainly the most editing I’ve done with an ACE so far. So, it was a great learning experience and a good chance to experience such a prominent part of reporting. Though I do think I’m partial to getting a chance to actually fully immersing myself into a subject and getting a chance to get comfortable with the content. I like to feel confident in what I’m writing which, I know I won’t always get to do.